This is the post where I talk about a book that I DNF-ed…
Title: The Purple Diaries: Mary Astor and the Most Sensational Hollywood Scandal of the 1930s
Author: Joseph Egan
Format: Hardback (300 pages)
Publisher: Diversion Publishing, November 2016
When I think of old Hollywood, my mind conjures images of Marilyn Monroe, Gene Kelly (Singing in the Rain, anyone?), Charlie Chaplin, Julie Andrews, Dick van Dyke and scenes from The Great Gastby (2013).
But Mary Astor?
Never heard of her.
So I requested The Purple Diaries from Netgalley because I am all about discovering lost stories and learning from people’s mistakes. The book recounts Astor’s rise to stardom, the men in her life and eventually custody battle with one of her husbands over her daughter, Marylyn.
Going into the book, I was disappointed that the book was not in diary format a lá Dear America to have a better understanding of what Mary Astor was going through. I do appreciate the fact that there were lots of pictures and pictures of her diary excerpts. Then, the more I swipped on my Kindle edition, the more I felt that my energy draining with the numerous accounts of infidelity and unhappy marriages/ relationships. There was no impetus of wanting to finding out what happened to Astor-Thorpe custody battle which formed a huge chunk of the book. At the risk of sounding prudish, I was really not keen on reading about other people’s dirty laundry.
From the little that I read I surmised two things: choose your life partner wisely and there’s more drama off set than on-set in Hollywood.
To be fair, Joseph Egan is a good writer and I might try his other work in future. I felt that this is was just a case of right book, wrong reader. This book would probably be better appreciated by a film buff, or someone interested in women in film or just old Hollywood.
Photo Credit: Goodreads