DIRTY EDDIE by Ludwig Bemelman


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A biting satire on Hollywood, done in terms of broad caricature, but in a completely new vein for Bemelmans. There's the interplay of story editors, of writers, of producers; there's the utter absurdity of exaggeration in the extravagances, punctuated by cruelties and kindnesses in juxtaposition (as when one of the high moguls, finding his pet author stymied by new surroundings, transports by air a virtual facsimile of the shabby hotel room where he had once written- and starved, complete to the ink spot on the carpet). There's the making of a star (double entendre intended) -- and a wholesome, hard-headed girl is made into something quite unrecognizable; there's the writer who might have been someone, but who learns not to deliver what he has promised- and who laisser faire policy produces accidental success. The most amusing incident in the story is the one which gives the book its name- the incident of the little black pig that persisted in growing out of recognition, so that the shots taken first -- an intended for the last part of the piece, made the pig seem to shrink in size as the picture progressed. A tenuous romance and a success windup give the whole some semblance of unity. But it will be read for its madness- its luxurious insanities- and all the falseness and window dressing that makes up the Hollywood Bemelmans knows. The Bemelmans' fans may feel he has deserted them, but a whole new audience (that likes books off the beam, such as Aurora Dawn)- and others fascinated with Hollywood spoofs- and still others intrigued by the big publicity stunts which will launch it (Life, etc.) will supply momentum to big sales. Watch it-even if its not down your lane.

Pub Date: Aug. 18th, 1947
Publisher: Viking