My Favourite Neurotic
I really enjoyed this book, being just about old enough to remember, of have heard about, most of the showbiz people filling its pages. (Thanks to TCM for much of it.) I have read all Levant's books and this is probably the best - though the very best book on Oscar Levant is 'A Talent for Genius" by Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger which is a sympathetic biography of this fast-being -forgotten musical and wise-cracking genius. A lot of the book consists of very funny quotes, from Oscar himself and various other people, and general stories of the entertainment industry of of 30's ,40's and 50's. The trouble with Levant is that you quickly get addicted and having bought all the books I could find on and by him, I then collected DVDs of all his films and all the CDs I could find of his musical endeavours, - he was a brilliant pianist and the CDs still sound good, even the ones with a few crackles. (They are re-mastered from the original 78s and LPs.) Parts of "Memoirs" are quite hard to read as Oscar becomes very ill with addiction and mental problems but he never loses his sense of the ridiculous, especially about himself. This is a fascinating book about an equally fascinating character. Time, I think for a re-discovery.