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My Hollywood MisAdventures    by Allan Cole order for
My Hollywood MisAdventures
by Allan Cole
Order:  USA  Can
Self, 2011 (2011)
Softcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

The dictionary defines the prefix Mis as 'bad, wrongly'; Adventure as 'exciting, somewhat dangerous, unusual experience'; and Misadventure as 'bad luck, misfortune, mishap'. Well, Gentle Readers (a phrase borrowed from Allan Cole), in My Hollywood MisAdventures you will embark on a mix of all the aforesaid, and then some.

Allan Cole chronicles his journey with the late Chris Bunch, from their first meeting at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach, California. That was the beginning of a partnership that lasted twenty years. Their story is anything but dull - these are 'Tales Sometimes Tall, but always true', including the attention-grabber, 'How an alleged Mafia Don was very, very good to us' and occasions when, according to Bunch they were 'up a brown creek without a rowing device'. The book is organized as Episodes, such as Toupees Roasting On An Open Fire or The FBI Only Rings Once, often followed by quotations such as David Frost's 'Television is an invention that permits you to be entertained in your own living room by people you wouldn't have in your home.'

Cole shares behind the scenes collaboration (at times non-collaboration) in the world of scriptwriters, producers, agents, actors, editors ... the whole bunch. Readers hear about The Black Tower of Universal Studios elite - the higher the elevator climb, the more elaborate the offices and décor, not to mention the Guys With The Big Phones. No punches are pulled (well, maybe a few) as the two scriptwriters/authors experience wins and losses, with purses full and lean.

Gentle Reader, you will laugh, be stunned, be informed, and will reminisce (as I did), remembering past TV series/movies, actors, and books. These include Hunter (Fred Dyer); Walker: Texas Ranger (Chuck Norris); Werewolf (Chuck Connors and young actor John J. York); Joe Dancer PI series and TV movie Hell Town (both Robert Blake); Quincy, M.D. (Jack Klugman); Rockford Files (James Garner), and Dead Heat (Joe Piscopo and Treat Williams). Cole also addresses The Great Writer Guild Association Strike of 1988 (longest in history); and the LA Rodney King riots. I enjoyed Chris Bunch's ad lib, 'but I'm so broke the Eagle on my Last Quarter is flying on one wing!' Whether on a discussion panel, or in a meeting with a producer, Bunch and Cole fed off each other impromptu.

Allan Cole is a bestselling author, screenwriter and former prize-winning newsman. The son of a CIA operative, Cole was raised in the Middle East, Europe and the Far East. His works include The Timura Trilogy, Lucky In Cyprus; Tales Of The Blue Meanie; and The Hate Parallax, co-authored with Russian fantasy author Nick Perumov. Allan has published more than twenty books and sold more than 150 screenplays. He tells us, 'Writers aren't in the game for the money. All we want is enough to live on - and write!' Note that Allan Cole will even autograph a credit card receipt for you ... read the book to find out why and how!

Audiobook Review by Hilary Williamson:

I've been highly entertained in recent car trips, listening to My Hollywood MisAdventures by Allan Cole, recently released in an unabridged Audible edition (19 hours and 17 minutes), ably narrated by Colin Hussey.

While it's a hilarious account of the challenges of pursuing a creative writing/scriptwriting career in Los Angeles, it also explains something that's long puzzled me - why, despite no dearth of talent, so many TV shows have been so very, very bad.

My family gave up on TV entirely a couple of decades ago, aside from highly recommended series that we buy after the fact. Listen to a few episodes of Cole and Bunch's encounters with the Towering Toupée and cohorts, and you'll understand better the process that turns shows like Code Red to Code Dead.

And this audiobook is perfect to listen to on the road, a series of episodes that can be started, stopped and easily resumed - just beware of laughing too hard while driving!

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

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