Don't be put off by the Bill Adler title, or even by the subtitle which you might well like to put down; this is a well-endowed conglomerate of jokes, letters, one-liners, and anecdotes of the earlier days of Hollywood from books, magazines, newspapers and first and third person recall (and perhaps a special credit line is due Ezra Goodman's Rise and Fall of Hollywood). Starting off with assorted Perelmania, this goes on to the words of Barrymore, Benchley, Brando, or Ben Hecht, Garbo or Will Rogers, and certainly a hundred others who contributed to the days when ""You make a star, you make a monster"" in the city where ""The whole world is about three drinks behind"" (Bogart). We didn't see that one here, but you'll find any number of surrogate definitions: Hollywood is ""where you spend more than you make on things you don't need to impress people you don't like"" -- or, as Fred Allen said, ""It's a great place to live -- if you're an orange."" There are of course longer stories: Harry Cohn complaining, ""Where are the writers? Why aren't they working? I don't hear a sound""; or Thurber being told by a psychiatrist who had been-doodling on a pad, ""Mr. Thurber, I think we can lick this whole drawing thing in about six weeks."" One can go on for a legendary and very funny forever and it should do very well -- for that wide intercostal middle-aged spread from coast to coast.