This year I’ve challenged myself to read fifty books. This is no easy task for a slow reader, especially since so many other things distract me. Through this blog, I’ll share the books I’m reading and keep myself on track. Please feel free to offer suggestions of books you’ve enjoyed!
Book Number 28
All The Stars in The Heavens
This is a fictionalized story of the relationship of Loretta Young and Clark Gable during the mid-1930’s. There are details about the film industry during the era and how actors were “owned” by the studios. I found much of that interesting.
Because it was fiction, It is hard to distinguish what was factual. The details about Loretta and other real people were somewhat biographical, but much was made up to tell the story.
I was almost immediately jarred by the dialog “errors.” Although many of the exchanges between the actors were humorous and light (like dialog in the movies of the day), there were many instances where words and phrases they used would not have been heard during that era. No one said “easy-peasy” until the 70’s, the phrase “had my ass handed to me” is from the 60’s, “stick-shift” was coined in 1955. I found many more instances of incorrect dialog use—in fact, that was part of the fun for me in reading this book. I was also brought up short by one of the characters, who should have known better, calling Tiepolo a Renaissance artist. I began to look for these oddities. Finding them made me wonder what editors of big name publishers actually do.
About a third of the way through the book, the story bogged down. It became repetitious to the point that I glossed over a lot of it. I couldn’t take for another 100 pages Loretta’s continual agonizing over her decisions and her “need” to cling to the wrong men.
Author Adriana Trigiani has many followers who adore her writing. Several of them indicated in reviews that All The Stars in The Heavens was far from her finest work. Some of her descriptions of setting and history were nicely written but felt to me like “fillers” to make the book sound good. I preferred her silly dialog and, especially her portrayal of David Niven.
I think this book will appeal to people who like an unrequited love story. Also, fans of the Golden Era of Hollywood might like this although it is a bit too short on details to be classified as a novel about the era.