Stephen M. Silverman, |
Envy, Anger & Sweet Revenge
(Red Rock, 2002)
This is not an instructional manual. Looking for advice? Need to knock-off an adversary? Sorry, no answers here.
But (ahem), of course (nervous cough), none of us were looking for that sort of thing anyway, right? Um, right?
What this book is, instead, is sort of a cute collection of kitschy trivia. Although the collection of seven books is titled the Sin Series, religious references are limited. Instead of the Bible, the set here is Hollywood, where ferocious competition has always bred envy and, too often, revenge.
In the beginning, Genesis is presented as a script proposal, though it's dismissed as having a "weak story." Cain and Abel, and Joseph (the many-colored coat one) follow, and the Bible is wrapped up by Samson and Delilah.
And now we're into hard-core Hollywood hate, Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine. Wow. Born in 1916 and 1917, respectively, they spent their entire lives locked in competition. Both achieved success and fame, and no clear winner emerged. Said Fontaine of her sister, "Through no fault of my own, everything I did upstaged her, for I am an achiever. Up against an achiever and a usurper, an older sister doesn't stand a chance." Asked by press in 1999 if she and her sister would reconcile, de Havilland said, "Out of the question."
Of course, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane (a personal favorite) gets a mention, as do Mommy Dearest and Fight Club, among others.
The layout is catchy, clever and modern. Steven M. Silverman has researched both his subject and his chosen setting well. The introduction (by the author) is cute, and gives a bit of an explanation of why Hollywood makes such an appropriate arena for this particular sin.
And dig the art. The dramatic cover is by Diana Ong, of whom I'd never heard, but I will be keeping an eye out for her work in the future. In addition to paintings by Edvard Munch, William Mulhall and other talented (and weird) artists, there are movie posters, clips and celebrity photos. Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt, girls!
Overall the layout, if not the content, is a little cheery. I think perhaps I like my envy, anger and revenge a little more dark, and, well, angry. Otherwise, it's fun!
by Katie Knapp