TALKING TO THE PIANO PLAYER: SILENT FILM STARS, WRITERS AND DIRECTORS REMEMBER by Stuart Oderman
"Two of his books, Lillian Gish: A Life on Stage and Screen and Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle resulted from his friendships with Miss Gish and with Arbuckle's first wife, Minta Durfee Arbuckle, respectively. Both are good reads that will satisfy any fan of these early movie stars.
"Talking to the Piano Player is similarly compelling reading for anyoen interested in the history of Hollywood. More than 20 writers, directors and actors from the earliest days of the movies opened up to Oderman and revealed their triumphs, insecurities, scandals and loves.
"Honestly, it reads like an archival edition of People magazine, full as it is of Hollywood dish. I couldn't put it down. Where else can you get the lowdown on Marlene Dietrich, Frank Capra, Anita Loos and Jackie Coogan all in one place?
"This book has information and insight into Hollywood life that is hard to find, even now, for these are stars who were definitely past their primes, reflecting on their lives and careers. Some had regrets, others a deep nostalgia for the days when they rode in sleek limos, attended premieres and danced till the wee hours in fancy nightclubs.
"In his highly readable yet unassuming way, Oderman lets the stars do the talking and the truth reveals itself through their remembrances. While he subtly interjects the setting of their meetings (a tattered residential hotel in New York, for example, or a dark bungalow in the Hollywood Hills) and names a few notable onscreen accomplishments, Oderman lets his subjects tell their stories in their own words.
"If you are interested in what the original movie stars and the earliest days of Hollywood were really like, Talking to the Piano Player by Stuart Oderman is a must read."
- Kathy Werner, Sullivan County Democrat