This is a very bad book. Quite possibly the worst book I’ve read in the last ten years. The author had an interesting idea – explore the notorious life of Don Simpson and use Simpson as the lens through which to focus on the corrupt nature of Hollywood – but there is so much name dropping, and filler extracted from magazine articles, that the image presented is irrevocably blurred.
How about this for a sentence: “The Hollywood that Simpson left behind was provincial, incestuous and almost hermeneutic in its isolation from the outside world and ordinary human reality.” Now I think that Fleming meant ‘hermetic’ in that sentence, which would seem to fit, but his writing is so sloppy (and badly edited) that I simply cannot be sure he wasn’t genuinely thinking of ‘hermeneutic’ and just got the rest of the sentence mangled.
Some eye-popping details, but not recommened. Read a long review instead.