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Tell-all /

Hazie Coogan, who for decades has tended to the outsized needs of veteran actress Katherine "Miss Kathie" Kenton, discovers that bounder Webster Carlton Westward III has written a celebrity tell-all memoir foretelling Miss Kathie's death in a forthcoming Lillian Hellman-penned musical... Full description

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Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Doubleday, 2010
Edition: First edition.
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SUMMARY

The hyperactive love child of Page Six and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? caught in a tawdry love triangle with The Fan . Even Kitty Kelly will blush.

Soaked, nay, marinated in the world of vintage Hollywood, Tell-All is a Sunset Boulevard -inflected homage to Old Hollywood when Bette Davis and Joan Crawford ruled the roost; a veritable Tourette's syndrome of rat-tat-tat  name-dropping, from the A-list to the Z-list; and a merciless  send-up of Lillian Hellman 's habit of butchering the truth that will have Mary McCarthy cheering from the beyond.

Our Thelma Ritter -ish narrator is Hazie Coogan , who for decades has tended to the outsized needs of Katherine "Miss Kathie"  Kenton --veteran of multiple marriages, career comebacks, and cosmetic surgeries. But danger arrives with gentleman caller Webster Carlton Westward III , who worms his way into Miss Kathie's heart (and boudoir). Hazie discovers that this bounder has already written a celebrity tell-all memoir foretelling Miss Kathie's death in a forthcoming Lillian Hellman -penned musical extravaganza; as the body count mounts, Hazie must execute a plan to save Katherine Kenton for her fans--and for posterity.

Tell-All is funny, subversive, and fascinatingly clever. It's wild, it's wicked, it's  bold-faced--it's vintage Chuck .


Review by Booklist Review

At his best, Palahniuk punctures our collective psyches with sharp darts of satire, subversion, and surprise. Fight Club (1996) created a mythology from the inner lives of alienated Gen X-ers, and Pygmy (2009) daringly tweaked fears of terrorism and school shootings, heedless of our jangled nerves. In an era of panic about pandemics, Rant (2007) likened celebrity to a plague. Tell-All retreats to the world of golden-age Hollywood, telling the tale of Katherine Kenton, aging star of stage and screen, and Hazie Coogan, Kenton's maid, companion, confidante and unlikely star-maker. Written in a style meant to evoke the boldface breathlessness of celebrity scandal sheets, Tell-All chronicles Kenton's love affair with the inappropriately young Webster Carlton Westward III, a possible gold-digger, and Coogan's increasingly desperate attempts to manage her mistress' life. To be sure, Palahniuk stages some stunning scenes and pens some bawdily hilarious lines. But, unfortunately, other than noting stardom's fleeting fame, he doesn't find much new to say. Readers with long memories will be struck by the way some of the set pieces resemble the scathing satire of a young William S. Burroughs. But Naked Lunch was published in 1959 it's a little late to be dining out on similar fare. Then again, if Lillian Hellman strikes you as a worthy target, then this might be just the meal you're looking for.--Graff, Keir Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Palahniuk channels old Hollywood in this homage to Billy Wilder's classic film Sunset Boulevard. Mazie Coogan tends to the needs of Katherine Kenton, a washed-up film star who still believes she lives in the spotlight. When a stranger enters their lives and seduces Miss Kathie, Mazie unravels his secret plot to write a memoir about his dalliance with the star that culminates in Miss Kathie's death. Hilary Huber's pitch and pronunciation are inspired by the great actresses of the 1930s and '40s. Her arch voice recalls the smoky tones of cigarette tapping screen stars, and her raspy narration is chilling. A Doubleday hardcover (Reviews, Mar. 22). (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

As housekeeper and confidante to has-been movie star Katherine Kenton, Hazie Coogan tends to her employer's every wish and need. So when a tell-all memoir about the aging actress threatens to surface, she goes to extremes to prevent it from seeing the light of day. Though the plot of New York Times best-selling author Palahniuk's (www.chuckpalahniuk.net) latest novel is rather bizarre and unsatisfying, Hillary Huber (The Art of Social War), a relative newbie in the audiobook narrating industry, does a superb job of voicing the Thelma Ritter-esque housekeeper and lending a vintage Hollywood feel to this audio production. Die-hard Palahniuk fans and those with a penchant for old-time Hollywood references will likely want to give this a chance. Others will find it tedious, needlessly redundant, and annoying-certainly, it's no The Fight Club.-Gloria Maxwell, Metropolitan Community Coll.-Penn Valley Lib., Kansas City, MO (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
AUTHOR NOTES

Chuck Palahniuk was born in Pasco, Washington on February 21, 1962. He received a BA in journalism from the University of Oregon in 1986. Before becoming a full-time author, he worked as a journalist and as a diesel mechanic. He has written numerous novels including Survivor, Invisible Monsters, Lullaby, Diary, Haunted, Rant, Snuff, Pygmy, Tell-All, Damned, Doomed, Beautiful You, and Make Something Up: Stories You Can't Unread. Fight Club was made into a film by director David Fincher and Choke was made into a film by director Clark Gregg. He is also the author of Fugitives and Refugees, a nonfiction profile of Portland, Oregon, and the nonfiction collection Stranger Than Fiction.

(Bowker Author Biography)


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