Book review:

Tales from the New Abnormal in the Movie Business 

by Lynda Obst

Sleepless in Hollywood

Tales from the New Abnormal in the Movie Business

  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 304 pages , 
  • June 2013
  • Formats: Hardcover $26.00,  and various e-books. 
    Ships on or about June 11, 2013

The veteran producer and author of the bestseller Hello, He Lied takes a witty and critical look at the new Hollywood. 
 Over the past decade, producer Lynda Obst gradually realized she was working in a Hollywood that was undergoing a drastic transformation. The industry where everything had once been familiar to her was suddenly disturbingly strange.

 Obst writes with affection, regret, humor and hope, and her behind-the-scenes vantage point allows her to explore what has changed in Hollywood like no one else has. This candid, insightful account explains what has happened to the movie business and explores whether it’ll ever return to making the movies we love—the classics that make us laugh or cry, or that we just can’t stop talking about
Combining her own industry experience and interviews with the brightest minds in the business, Obst explains what has stalled the vast moviemaking machine. The calamitous DVD collapse helped usher in what she calls the New Abnormal (because Hollywood was never normal to begin with), where studios are now heavily dependent on foreign markets for profit, a situation which directly impacts the kind of entertainment we get to see. Can comedy survive if they don’t get our jokes in Seoul or allow them in China? Why are studios making fewer movies than ever—and why are they bigger, more expensive and nearly always sequels or recycled ideas?

My thoughts:  If you've ever found yourself scratching your head in confusion, about why in the world  "Hollywood" does anything...then THIS is the book for you!  I've loved books and movies since...forever, and I want to thank Lynda Obst for writing Sleepless in Hollywood just for me. 

Like a lot of people, I follow movies, I track trends in films.  I go to small film festivals, I see movies people have never heard of. Why?  Because I love old and new Hollywood, and I love the industry. Let me be honest, I'm a movie junkie. I've spent years slamming my head onto hard surfaces trying to understand why some movies just never happen, why some are made and clearly shouldn't have been and have wondered why on earth "they" are marketing tent pole films to China and Russia?  really?  yeah,  go figure. 

After reading Sleepless in Hollywood,  I "get it!" I really understand. Obst, drawing on her years of producing and making properties happen, has written an honest, easily understood, fascinatingly hypnotic look at the "behind the scenes" grit that goes into making movies. I read this in about two days, and I have a full time job, so that means I was reading at red lights, sitting in traffic and waiting for my nails to dry at the nail place.

Not in the film business?  No matter. If you watch TV, see movies once a week or once a year, take the kids to the newest animated 3-D monster fest on the weekend, then this book is for you!  Haven't seen a movie since talkies were the new trend? Just realized movies  are now in color? This book is for you, you have a lot of catching up to do.

OK, seriously, this is a well written, fact based, interesting and engaging book. Osbt clearly knows her own business, and she shares her business with us, the wanna-bees, the fans and the admirers of the art of film making. She tells insider stories, but it's never gossipy. It's smart, informative and entertaining. 

Just read it, you'll thank me. You'll thank Lynda Obst for writing it, and the next time you're sitting at a table outside at the Chateau Marmont having a drink, you'll actually understand what they are saying at the table next to you!   IMAGINE!  

4 1/2 out of 5 big stars!!

I'm going to buy this with my hard earned pennies and add it to my bookshelf library at home!

** This e-galley was provided to me by the publisher through in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

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