The classic book that shaped two generations' view of the movie business and introduced the archetypal Hollywood player Sammy Glick. He's got a machete mouth and a genius for double-cross.
As Budd Shulberg - author of the screenplay On the Waterfront - follows Sammy's relentless upward progress, he creates a virtuoso study in character that manages to be hilariously appalling yet deeply compassionate.
What members say
- Stewart Gooderman
Not much of a scandal anymore
I wanted to read this books because it was (supposedly) such a scandal when it was first published, and also to see how similar the 1964 musical is to the source material.
At this point, Shulberg's postscript to the novel, written many years later was more of an eye opener than the novel itself. It pointed out that what was scandalous behavior back in the 1930s has become so commonplace today that the book won't even raise an eyebrow. And it doesn't. The listen isn't boring, but it isn't jaw dropping either. The Sammy Glick's of today are far more sinister and evil than the Sammy of then. Schulberg's Glick almost becomes laughable when compared to today's thugs.
The two short stories that were expanded to become the novel are included here and actually serve as bookends to the novel.
Steve Lawrence's portrayal as Glick in the 1964 musical comes across as far thuggish than in the novel and by 1964 that was absolutely necessary in order for audiences to relate to the character.