A memoir about the author’s role in the secret sex lives of Hollywood’s Golden Age stars.
Bowers, a long-time Hollywood hanger-on, delivers a bizarrely upbeat, frequently stomach-churning chronicle of profligacy and perversion that frankly beggars belief. Presenting himself as some unholy amalgam of a pimp, prostitute and Jiminy Cricket, Bowers maintains an unfailingly aw-shucks tone as he details the erotic peccadilloes of dozens of iconic actors, including a coprophagous escapade with Charles Laughton that will haunt the nightmares of most readers. In Bowers’ telling, the author, a good-natured Midwesterner freshly discharged from the Marines, became the center of a prostitution underground almost immediately upon his arrival in Tinseltown, cheerfully arranging trysts by the thousands to suit any and all tastes, however outré, while being relentlessly seduced by every homosexual connected to the film industry. Bowers protests continuously that he sees nothing wrong with facilitating adultery and all manner of deviance on an epic scale, as sex is a natural drive that shouldn’t be beholden to social mores. This point becomes harder to defend as he glowingly describes his childhood sexual abuse involving a friend’s father, customers along his paper route, and various Catholic priests. Bowers’ largesse extends to these predators, who are unfailingly described as sweet, kind, gentle, lonely souls looking for a little harmless comfort. This attitude suggests an insane level of denial or merely denotes the fevered musings of a fantasist with no regard for the reputations of dozens of prominent figures in American popular culture.
A singularly off-putting and seamy reading experience.