Hollywood Animal: A Memoir


He spent his earliest years in post WWII–refugee camps. He came to America and grew up in Cleveland—stealing cars, rolling drunks, battling priests, nearly going to jail. He became the screenwriter of the worldwide hits Basic Instinct, Jagged Edge, and Flashdance. He also wrote the legendary disastersShowgirls and Jade. The rebellion never ended, even as his films went on to gross more than a billion dollars at the box office and he became the most famous—or infamous—screenwriter in Hollywood. 

Joe Eszterhas is a complex and paradoxical figure: part outlaw and outsider combined with equal parts romantic and moralist. More than one person has called him “the devil.” He has been referred to as “the most reviled man in America.” But Time asked, “If Shakespeare were alive today, would his name be Joe Eszterhas?” and he was the first screenwriter picked as one of the movie industry’s 100 Most Powerful People. Although he is often accused of sexism and misogyny, his wife is his best friend and equal partner. Considered an apostle of sex and violence, he is a churchgoer who believes in the power of prayer. For many years the ultimate symbol of Hollywood excess, he has moved his family to Ohio and immersed himself in the midwestern lifestyle he so values. 

Controversial, fearless, extremely talented, and totally unpredictable, the author of the best-sellingAmerican Rhapsody and National Book Award nominee Charlie Simpson’s Apocalypse has surprised us yet again: he has written a memoir like no other.