Collins, Jackie: Hollywood Wives
(researched by Debbie Beisswanger)

Assignment 1: Bibliographical Description
1 First edition publication information (publisher, place, date, etc.)
Jackie Collins. Hollywood Wives. New York, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1983. Copyright: 1983 by Chances, Inc. First American Edition
2 First edition published in cloth, paper, or both? If both, simultaneous or staggered?
First American Edition is published in trade cloth binding.
3 JPEG image of cover art from first edition, if available
4 Pagination
256 leaves, pp. 1-10(in italics), 11-509, 510-512(in italics)
5 Edited or Introduced? If so, by whom?
Includes publisher advertisement for other books by Jackie Collins in front fly leave. Book is dedicated, "For Tracy, Tiffany, and Rory with all my love."
6 Illustrated? If so, by whom?
Not Illustrated.
7 JPEG image of sample illustration, if available
8 General physical appearance of book (Is the physical presentation of the text attractive? Is the typography readable? Is the book well printed?)
24.5cm X 16cm Presentation of Text on Page: Text is attractive and clearly printed. Large margins and moderately large font contribute to the ease of readability. Condition of Dust Jacket: Small tears located in the upper-left hand corner and bottom center of the dust jacket. Slight wear is present around the edges (See Number 3). The dust jacket is fuschia, with the author's name and book title in equivalent-sized white font, shadowed with gray. A small graphic of a ring circles two letters in the book title. On the spine, the author's name and book title is also included in the same cover font type, scaled down a few sizes and without shadowing. Back of dust jacket contains full-page size photograph of author Jackie Collins. Jacket design by Paul Bacon and author's photograph by Michael Childers. Type Size: 86R Type Style: Serif Margins: Top, 3/4"; Bottom 3/2"; Side 7/8" Illustrations: None Additional Comments: Condition of book is excellent. Chapters are numbered but without titles. Pages are smoothly cut on all sides.
9 JPEG image of sample chapter page, if available
10 Paper (Assess the original quality of the paper used for the book. Is the paper in the copy or copies you examined holding up physically over time?)
Wove paper provides an even, granulated texture. No discolorations or stainings found. Pages are not folded over, and there are no signs of significant wear and tear. Sturdy, ivory colored pages with consistent paper stock throughout.
11 Description of binding(s)
Dust jacket is present and in good condition. Red cloth binding with laid-in gold lettering revealing author's name, book title, publisher, and chapter page logo. Beginning and endpapers are red as well, and are bound to the covers, not the rest of the text. Front cover contains imprint of author's autograph. Transcription of Spine: JACKIE | COLLINS | HOLLYWOOD | WIVES | SIMON AND | SCHUSTER
12 Transcription of title page
Recto: HOLLYWOOD | WIVES | BY | JACKIE COLLINS | SIMON AND SCHUSTER | New York Verso: COPYRIGHT 1983 BY CHANCES, INC. | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED | INCLUDING THE RIGHT OF REPRODUCTION | IN WHOLE OR IN PART IN ANY FORM | PUBLISHED BY SIMON AND SCHUSTER | A DIVISION OF SIMON & SCHUSTER, INC. | SIMON & SCHUSTER BUILDING | ROCKEFELLER CENTER | 1230 AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS | NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10020 | SIMON AND SCHUSTER AND COLOPHON ARE REGISTERED TRADEMARKS | OF SIMON & SCHUSTER, INC. | DESIGNED BY EVE METZ | MANUFACTURED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
13 JPEG image of title page, if available
14 Manuscript Holdings
Whereabouts of manuscript unknown. As of February, 2000, author is living.
15 Other (typograpical information from title page, etc.)
Epigraph on unnumbered page seven with a plot-related quote, "Nobody is allowed to fail within a two-mile radius of the Beverly Hills Hotel." -Gore Vidal
Assignment 2: Publication and Performance History
1 Did the original publisher issue the book in more than one edition? If so, briefly describe distinguishing features of each (illustrations, cover art, typography, etc.); if not, enter N/A
Hollywood Wives was originally published in its first edition in 1983. Pocket Books, New York, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. (the original publshing company), issued mass market paperback editions in both 1984 and 1986. They also published an edition in 1989. In 1995, they developed a reissue edition of the mass market paperback. In 1983, Simon & Schuster released a Book Club edition of Hollywood Wives.
2 JPEG image of cover art from one subsequent edition, if available
3 JPEG image of sample illustration from one subsequent edition, if available
4 How many printings or impressions of the first edition?
There have been as many as five printings of Hollywood Wives. www.bibliofind.com
5 Editions from other publishers? If so, list their dates and publishers; if not, enter N/A
Pan Publishers issued a British First Edition of Hollywood Wives in 1983 and yet another edition in 1994.
6 Last date in print?
February 28, 2000.
7 Total copies sold? (source and date of information?)
8 Sales figures by year? (source and date of information?)
According to the 29th Edition of the Bowker Annual of Library and Book Trade Information, sales were 226,505 (copies) in 1983 when the book was first published. It held the #9 fiction spot for the year in 1983. On August 12, 1983, it debuted on Publisher's Weekly's Hardcover Bestsellers at #7. At that date, 150,000 copies were in print, and the hardcover edition sold for $16.95. One week later on the same Bestsellers list, it jumped to the #3 spot.
9 Advertising copy (transcribe significant excerpts, briefly identify where ads were placed)
"From Rodeo Drive to Malibu to Palm Springs, nobody knows the glittering world of love, lust and betrayal like Jackie Collins. It's her world...the glamorous, sinful, heaven-on-earth of...Hollywood Wives. The fabulous beauties, famous and infamous, tough, tan, terrific--married to success, divorced from care, flirting with scandal. They bewitch their men with sensuous cunning, naked and greedy under silk sheets, hungry to devour every new superstud. Supremely wealthy, utterly powerful, endlessly passionate, totally ruthless--the shameless women whole every shocking secret Jackie Collins reveals from the inside out..."--This copy is found on the back cover of the mass market paperback edition. "The pages simply throb with the jungle beat of mating and the strange tribal rites of the women behind the men who make the movies." -- Los Angeles Magazine "The novel is crammed with beautiful people scheming to advance themselves. No detail of their designer clothes or Rolls- Royces has been omitted, but Miss Collins is at her raunchy best when describing the collisions between rivals at parties or in bedrooms. She also excels at pacing her narrative, which races forward, mirroring the frenetic lives chronicled here with wit." -- New York Times "SEX LIVES AND POWER DRIVES OF FILMLAND MOGULS AND MOVIE STARS...YOU'LL PROBABLY STAY UP ALL NIGHT READING...HOLLYWOOD WIVES!"--Cosmopolitan "A sexy sizzler..."--USA Today
10 JPEG image of sample advertisement, if available
11 Other promotion
12 Performances in other media? If so, list media, date, title, production information; if not, enter N/A
Hollywood Wives was made into a 4 hour and 42 minute miniseries starring Suzanne Somers, Candace Bergen, Anthony Hopkins, and many others. The miniseries aired on ABC in 1985. It is not available on video or DVD and was never in the theatres.
13 Translations? If translated, give standard bibliographic information for each translation. If none, enter N/A
Le signore di Hollywood. Milano; Bompiani, 1991. 567p. [Italian] Gollivudskie zheny. Moskva: Izd-vo "EKSMO", 1995. 598p. [Russian] Le signore di Hollywood. Milano; Bompiani, 1987. [Italian] Esposas de Hollywood. Barcelona : Planeta, 1986. 483p. [Spanish] Hao lai wu ch'i ch'ieh. T'ai-pei shih : Huang kuan ch'u pan she, 1984. 596p. [Chinese] Hollywood*canke. Murska Sobota : Pomurska zalo*zba, 1986. 2 v. [most likely a slavic language] Die Frauen von Hollywood. Bayreuth : Hestia, 1986 1985. 590p. [German] Esposas de Hollywood. MÈxico : Lasser Press, 1985. 506p. [Spanish] Mujeres de Hollywood. Buenos Aires : EmecÈ, 1984. 477p. [Spanish] Esposas de Hollywood. Barcelona : Planeta, 1984. 483p. [Spanish] Research into the Braille Book Review uncovered a five-volume braille version of Hollywood Wives (BR 11051).
14 Serialization? If serialized, give standard bibliographic information for serial publication. If none, enter N/A
N/A
15 Sequels/Prequels? Give standard bibliographic information for each. If none, enter N/A
Jackie Collins also wrote two other books after Hollywood Wives--Hollywood Husbands and Hollywood Kids. Although they are along the same subject lines, they should not be considered sequels as their plots are distinct and unique of one another.
Assignment 3: Biographical Sketch of the Author
1 Paste your biographical sketch here (maximum 500 words)
(For a complete biographical overview, please refer to Kate Duvall's entry for Hollywood Husbands) Jackie Collins, romance author extraordinaire, exhibits many parallels from her life in her work. Most of her subject matter draws on big business, the media, or the film industry, and Hollywood Wives is no exception. Her wild childhood and marked independence primed her for a life of testing literary limits and bringing sex and scandal to new heights. Collins' expulsion from school in England for smoking and other misconduct marked the beginning of a series of influential events that would later impact her work. The cheeky girl known for yelling "Hey, cold day, isn't it?" at the resident flasher and selling dirty limericks for six cents a pop grew up to be one of the world's greatest celebrity authors. Collins says in a People Weekly interview on January 12, 1987 that she "knew sex sold at a young age". She then moved to Hollywood where she stayed with her actress-sister, Joan Collins for a while. Jackie took in the glitzy Hollywood scene, and even based the seedy apartment complex, which housed superstud Buddy Hudson (of Hollywood Wives), on the very same complex in which she lived in the late 50's. Her independence in the Hills of Beverly led her to meet many famous people whom she observed and gathered ideas from for characters. Additionally, she sat weekly in Ma Maison, an upscale restaurant frequented by stars, simply watching the interactions amongst the members of this elite community. Collins often writes about "women who can be seen as role models, who take charge of their lives, and who play the game a man's way". Hollywood Wives is full of women who are assertive and powerful, everything which Collins' says her real-life mother was not. The character Montana Gray, writer and director of her own movie in Hollywood Wives, sounds an awful lot like Collins, who was the executive producer, casting assistant, locations coordinator, and music and wardrobe guru for her Lady Boss miniseries. In the early 80's when Hollywood Wives was published, nothing of note was going on in Collins' life. Her character's experiences are drawn partly from real-life celebrities and partly from imagination, a technique she referred to as "invent and combine". Such first hand research was also done at her husband-at-the-time Oscar Lerman's popular discotheque Tramp, where sex, drugs, and rock and roll abound. Lerman was later diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1987 and died in 1992 after 25 years of marriage. He was her initial motivation and primary reason she worked so hard to get The World is Full of Married Men published. Collins says, though, that she is nothing like the Hollywood Wives, citing she barely goes out to lunch and enjoys spending time with her children and taking a leisurely swim. Writing about Hollywood, despite its fictitious nature, has taken its toll on Collins. In 1985, just two short years after Hollywood Wives came out, producer Elliott Kastner approached Collins at Spago's and threw a glass of champagne in the author's face, upset that a Collins character paralleled his life so greatly. In that same year, a Flynt Distributing Company magazine published nude photos that were incorrectly identified as photos of Jackie Collins. The author sued for invasion of privacy. Literary and musical influences including Harold Robbins, Scott Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gay, and Al Greene contributed to Collins' soulful, passionate writing style. During 1995, she became engaged to LA real estate developer Frank Calcagnini, tallying her third marriage. She also had a perfume and costume jewelry line which sold on the Home Shopping Network in the fall of 1994.
Assignment 4: Reception History
1 Paste contemporary reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
The reviews of Jackie Collins' 1983 best-selling novel, Hollywood Wives, revolve mostly around its steamy, sexual nature. While some reviewers regard Collins' works as quality literature, most readers find her stories fun, giving them a peek inside the glitzy realm of Hollywood. Collins is an author whose reputation precedes her; a 1983 Publisher's Weekly Forecast promised, "Collins won't disappoint fans of Chances, The Hollywood Zoo, etc. with her latest, almost a guaranteed bestseller like its predecessors." All of this hype came before the book was even through printing. Readers just can't seem to get enough sex and scandal, and Hollywood Wives was certainly not a letdown in those departments, according to a 1983 New York Times column. "Collins is at her raunchy best when describing the collisions between rivals at parties or in bedrooms. She also excels at pacing her narrative, which races forward, mirroring the frenetic lives chronicled here with wit." Collins has been noted for her improvement in character development throughout the years. The basis for her books comes from observing life around her in Hollywood. Many reviews compliment Collins on her strong suit, which they see as writing about women. Leola Floren of the Detroit News stated that, "Jackie Collins caricatures the life styles of the rich and famous with devastating accuracy. She spoofs every nuance of their attire, speech, and relationships, never allowing tedium or predictability to dilute the reader's fun." Floren is also one of few critics that find true literary expertise in Collins' work. In her review of Hollywood Wives, Floren noted, "It would be easy to self-righteously label this book trashy and worthless-but it's not entirely either. Jackie Collins has a talent for titillation and a knack for wooing the most reluctant of readers into a plot that spends 15 percent of the time peeking at people in the sack and the other 85 percent daydreaming about it." Thus, it is evident that while many may find Hollywood Wives tasteless and excessive, others are able to see past the plot and consider it quality literature, not just entertainment. Sometimes the toughest critics are not literary scholars at all. The striking similarity between the characters in Hollywood Wives and "real life" caused uproar amongst Hollywood's elite, prompting them to put in their two cents regarding Collins' work. Collins recounts an incident which occurred shortly after the book's launch to the top of the bestseller's list: "The wife of an established Hollywood personality had come up to me and said, 'That aging producer in your book, Ross Conti?you wrote about my husband, you bitch!' They were angry that I had exposed them, and quite a few of them were upset. They got over it and decided they liked the book!" Sources: Gale Literary Database--"Jackie Collins"--www.galenet.com Judy Bass, rev. of Hollywood Wives, by Jackie Collins, The New York Times 11 September 1983: 18. *Kassandra Kassim, "Collins very much her own boss, "The New Straits Times 16 May 1998, page 04. Kiki Olson, rev. of Hollywood Husbands, by Jackie Collins, The New York Times 2 November 1986: 26. *Sandra Chapman, "Hollywood Mum," Life Times 18 March 1998, page 21. *Note: Although these sources are past 5 years of the publication date, they contain portions referring to contemporary critiques.
2 Paste subsequent reception history in here (maximum 500 words)
The reviews of Jackie Collins' 1983 best-selling novel, Hollywood Wives, revolve mostly around its steamy, sexual nature. While some reviewers regard Collins' works as quality literature, most readers find her stories fun, giving them a peek inside the glitzy realm of Hollywood. Collins is an author whose reputation precedes her; a 1983 Publisher's Weekly Forecast promised, "Collins won't disappoint fans of Chances, The Hollywood Zoo, etc. with her latest, almost a guaranteed bestseller like its predecessors." All of this hype came before the book was even through printing. Readers just can't seem to get enough sex and scandal, and Hollywood Wives was certainly not a letdown in those departments, according to a 1983 New York Times column. "Collins is at her raunchy best when describing the collisions between rivals at parties or in bedrooms. She also excels at pacing her narrative, which races forward, mirroring the frenetic lives chronicled here with wit." Collins has been noted for her improvement in character development throughout the years. The basis for her books comes from observing life around her in Hollywood. Many reviews compliment Collins on her strong suit, which they see as writing about women. Leola Floren of the Detroit News stated that, "Jackie Collins caricatures the life styles of the rich and famous with devastating accuracy. She spoofs every nuance of their attire, speech, and relationships, never allowing tedium or predictability to dilute the reader's fun." Floren is also one of few critics that find true literary expertise in Collins' work. In her review of Hollywood Wives, Floren noted, "It would be easy to self-righteously label this book trashy and worthless-but it's not entirely either. Jackie Collins has a talent for titillation and a knack for wooing the most reluctant of readers into a plot that spends 15 percent of the time peeking at people in the sack and the other 85 percent daydreaming about it." Thus, it is evident that while many may find Hollywood Wives tasteless and excessive, others are able to see past the plot and consider it quality literature, not just entertainment. Sometimes the toughest critics are not literary scholars at all. The striking similarity between the characters in Hollywood Wives and "real life" caused uproar amongst Hollywood's elite, prompting them to put in their two cents regarding Collins' work. Collins recounts an incident which occurred shortly after the book's launch to the top of the bestseller's list: "The wife of an established Hollywood personality had come up to me and said, 'That aging producer in your book, Ross Conti?you wrote about my husband, you bitch!' They were angry that I had exposed them, and quite a few of them were upset. They got over it and decided they liked the book!" Sources: Gale Literary Database--"Jackie Collins"--www.galenet.com Judy Bass, rev. of Hollywood Wives, by Jackie Collins, The New York Times 11 September 1983: 18. *Kassandra Kassim, "Collins very much her own boss, "The New Straits Times 16 May 1998, page 04. Kiki Olson, rev. of Hollywood Husbands, by Jackie Collins, The New York Times 2 November 1986: 26. *Sandra Chapman, "Hollywood Mum," Life Times 18 March 1998, page 21. *Note: Although these sources are past 5 years of the publication date, they contain portions referring to contemporary critiques.
Assignment 5: Critical Analysis
1 Paste your critical analysis in here (maximum 2500 words)
The 1980s was a time when materialism prevailed, and all of America regarded Hollywood not only as an entertainment mecca, but as the quintessential way of life. Media focused heavily on celebrities by zooming in on their personal lives, thus attracting a large audience captivated by the Hollywood intrigue. Books were no exception to this trend, and even though fictitious, they provided a peek inside the lives of America's elite. Hollywood Wives was so successful during this period because it wove bits and pieces of contemporary society into its plot, fictionalizing the seemingly fantasy world of Beverly Hills in which a wide audience could indulge. Jackie Collins added to the book's notoriety by being a best selling, celebrity author herself; merely plastering her name on the cover of a novel basically guarantees large sales volumes. Her penchant is writing about the glamorous and risqué life of Hollywood celebrities, and many other authors who have duplicated this method of writing about one main subject matter find it quite profitable. In the eighties, everyone wanted to learn about the rich and famous and pop culture powered the media industry to the point where it helped boost books into best selling status. Who better to write these books than Jackie Collins, who once described herself as "an insider who can write like an outsider about the inside"? This age of excess and stardom witnessed the "celebritization" of media, ranging from books to television and from movies to politics. Hollywood Wives was published in 1983 and dealt with the glitzy lives of movie stars, directors, producers, and their significant others. This time frame coincides perfectly with the rise of America's "inquiring mind" and desire to live vicariously through fictitious characters. Tabloids were popular throughout the eighties and peaked at the close of the decade, selling twelve to fifteen million copies a week (led by The National Enquirer and the Star). Their tattletale, extravagant nature helped quench America's insatiable thirst for gossip. A book such as Hollywood Wives provided a similar source of secondhand information to readers. The nonfiction bestsellers of the early eighties are also worth examining. In 1981 and 1982, the chart-toppers were The Beverly Hills Diet and Jane Fonda's Workout Book, respectively. The allure of celebrity lifestyle sent millions flocking to the bookstore in hopes of attaining the perfect Hollywood body. Other forms of print media such as magazines grew in popularity at this time as well. The eighties saw an increase in publications devoted to coverage of Hollywood subjects-A & E Monthly, Entertainment Weekly, AMC Magazine, and Soap Opera Digest. Such materials fueled people's inquisitive nature and added to the trend that had already begun. In 1974, People Weekly came on the scene with Mia Farrow on the cover and front-to-back "personality" coverage. Celebrity news and photos started dominating traditional magazines such as Time, Newsweek, Esquire, and GQ in the late seventies, setting the stage for the Hollywood boom of the eighties. Prior to that time, power in Hollywood lay in the hands of producers and directors, but with the advent of the eighties, this power shifted to the stars themselves and their enormous salaries. Media took a more aggressive approach to reporting on Hollywood, which in turn provided writers like Jackie Collins with plenty of material for their work. The "celebritization" trend did not stop with literature; television was greatly affected by it, as evidence by the types of shows that were popular at the time. In the same year as Hollywood Wives was published, cable television subscribers reached the thirty million mark with viewers tuning in to Dallas, Dynasty, and a variety of entertainment-related shows such as Access Hollywood, E! Extra, and Entertainment Tonight (premiering in 1982). During the mid-eighties, David Letterman received multiple Emmy awards for his Late Night with David Letterman variety show. A big draw for shows of this type was the celebrity interview, especially since hosts like Letterman could bring in the big-time stars. By the end of the decade, only two percent of United States households lacked a television, implying that the other ninety-eight percent were being exposed to the immense Hollywood hype in large doses. Psychological theory states the people like what they are familiar with and see often, so once again it is no mystery why books about the celebrity lifestyle were so popular. The fascination with celebrities was even seen in politics of the eighties. Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1980 and showed that actors could be taken seriously. His fame and reputation got him enough votes to win, so he entered the political arena known as the actor-turned-president. In Hollywood Wives, Collins cleverly included an underlying murder/mystery plot in addition to all of the Hollywood and glamour. Although the ending is predictable and foretold, it holds one's interest, and helps tie everything together into a neat package. Hollywood Wives is the epitome of a 1980s romantic fiction best seller. Although the grammar and vocabulary of the text leave much to be desired, Collins' has been noted for the steady improvement of her plot lines and character developments over the years. This contributes to the book's popularity and defines it as a "quick read". Ease of sentence structure, familiarity with content, and a moderate number of pages all factor into its readability and helps push sales through the roof. In literary circles, however, her books are sometimes criticized as "trashy and over-sexed". Despite the negative reviews her work has elicited, the fact remains that she has written twenty-two best selling novels that have all been on the New York Times Best Sellers List. This success does not stem solely from the literary merit of these books, however. Best selling status takes into consideration sales figures and sales figures only. There is no mention anywhere on a best seller list of quality of writing or development of plot. Thus, it is quite possible that other circumstances weigh in. Authors like Jackie Collins have the luxury of writing whatever they want and still winding up with a best seller more often than not due simply to name recognition. Like any product of service, once it performs consistently, one does not hesitate to buy it again in the future as it is assumed to produce favorable results again. Author recognition follows the same pattern. The books whose titles are a smaller font than the author's name indicate that the book is being marketed on "brand name" and that the title is more or less irrelevant to the success of the book. Along with best selling status, Collins has celebrity status to boot, thanks to her famous actress-sister Joan Collins. Examining the best sellers lists of the past decade reveals a trend of well-known authors making it to the top year after year. They churn out books and even if those books are not literary masterpieces, people buy them in droves. A 1997 study from Publisher's Weekly found that out of forty-three books that had sales of more than a million copies in their first year of publication, thirty of them were written by Stephen King, John Grisham, or Danielle Steele. Stephen King came onto the literary scene topping the best seller list in 1980 with Firestarter, which was eventually adapted into a film starring a young Drew Barrymore. The success of the book and film helped launch King's career. One year later, he came out with Cujo and as expected, it sold over a million copies in its first year. This trend continued and his name became a regular on the New York Times Best Seller List between the years of 1980 and 1996, appearing at least once each year in the top ten. Danielle Steele found her success in the eighties and nineties writing romance novels similar to those of Jackie Collins sans the obligatory Hollywood slant. She captivates her audience by repeating a successful "formula" of sex, drugs, and scandal. Whereas Jackie Collins was a celebrity in her own right prior to writing, authors like Stephen King, Danielle Steele, John Irving, and Mary Higgins Clark became famous as a result of their writing. The general population has come to expect a certain level of entertainment from these well-known authors, thus increasing the likelihood of buying their books and boosting sales into the best seller realm. An interesting subset of this type of "celebrity author" genre includes books found in the Oprah Book Club. Although Oprah herself does not write the books, her notoriety supports every book she selects for the Club. More often than not, the author is not very well known, yet sales skyrocket after Oprah introduces them to America. One example of this occurred with Wally Lamb, author of She's Come Undone and I Know This Much is True. Her fame served as the backbone of the marketing scheme for these books. What better way to inform people about a new book than to "advertise" it on national television endorsed by the most famous talk show host in America? Mostly housewives and young adults, two groups who are generally not big readers, then purchase these books. This supports Jackie Collins' main goal of writing: "The important thing is I get people into the bookstores who probably wouldn't be there otherwise." Hollywood Wives is also part of a category of novels created by authors who maintain a common theme throughout a majority of their books. Readers know what they are getting before they even open the book. While plot surprises contribute to the suspense and entertainment value of the book, a certain level of predictability contributes to the purchasing decision made at the bookstore. If someone wants to read about sex and betrayal, Sandra Brown comes to mind whereas if one were looking for law and politics, John Grisham would be first on their list. From The Client to The Firm, The Street Lawyer to The Runaway Jury, he never fails to write an entertaining, high-energy law novel. This is well known by the general public, as many of his works have been brought to life on the big screen; so when people think lawyers and novels, they think John Grisham. Judith Krantz, Shirley Conran, and Harold Robbins (Jackie's inspiration) all draw on big business, media, and the film industry. When an author becomes known for consistently writing about a certain topic, it has a tremendous impact on sales figures. It is important to note that name and subject matter recognition is on an extremely large scale, as the average American has some grasp on who Jackie Collins is and the fact that she likes to write about celebrities in Hollywood. Consistent entertaining writing coupled with a proven successful storyline appeals to the typical pleasure reader, and the typical pleasure reader is the one who goes to Barnes & Noble and lays out the money for a new book. One thing that can be concluded from researching Hollywood Wives and the circumstances surrounding it is that in the eighties and nineties there was a particular way to write a best seller of this type. Realizing that this sort of book belongs to a variety of sub-genres is essential to learning what makes Hollywood Wives a best seller. The 1980s was an era of excess where Hollywood celebrities and materialism was glorified. The rise of tabloids and superstar-focused media captivated America, who in turn sought out the same way of life in print form. Blockbuster authors like Jackie Collins became the driving forces behind the success of their books, as people began to develop certain expectations from particular writers based on their status in the literary community. Publishers market these books solely on the reputation of the author and his or her past successes, banking on name recognition for sales. Authors who tend to stick with one main theme throughout their books do not go unnoticed. Jackie Collins, known for her "trash-and-flash" writing style makes fans of this genre run back to the bookstore for more. There is much to be learned by examining best sellers of the twentieth century, and Hollywood Wives teaches more lessons than one would ever expect from a seemingly simple, sexy, scandalous book. When one scratches below the surface, bits of contemporary society and literary trends abound. Sources: People Weekly Almanac, Cader Books, New York, 1999. Wilson, John Morgan, Inside Hollywood. Writer's Digest Books, Ohio, 1998. Consulted Hollywood Wives Assignments 1 through 4 by Debbie Beisswanger.
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