Hi! Today I’m doing a review of Kim Novak: Reluctant Goddess by Peter Harry Brown. And, as you can see, this was taken out on inter-library loan. And I can’t take that thing off, but you can see half her face on the cover, which kind of to me, kind the sums up Kim Novak.

I mean, it’s extraordinary what this woman went through, and my impression is, it’s a good book. It’s written at times in a kind of breathy way that almost feels like you’re reading celebrity news. But apart from those moments where I felt that way, I thought it was a very moving description of her life and the kind of brutal treatment she suffered at the hands of Harry Cohn, who is just to me like the epitome of what I think of when I think of the Hollywood studio system, horrible things. Things that made me want to avoid actually getting involved in the film industry, because that was the way things were then.

But things have changed somewhat. I hope a lot, I would like to think so. Anyway, it’s a very, very interesting reading and I felt so much sympathy and just a tremendous amount of heartbreak for this woman, who went through so much. And yet at the same time seemed to kind of embrace for a while the life that was driving her nuts. But I think she did it for artistic reasons.

But one of the things that’s interesting about this, that somebody pointed out in a GoodReads review is that each of the chapters, not all of them, but many of them end with quotes from Kim Novak herself and she frequently contradicts what’s in the book. And so you end up feeling kinda like, all right, what’s the deal then? What’s real here? What’s going on?

But if you want to read an interesting story about how brutal Hollywood can be to an actress, to a female actor, read this book, and if you like Kim Novak, you’ll probably get something out of it as well. I mean, just getting to know her a little bit better as a person. A lot of time is spent on her childhood and how she ended up in the industry, which to me was fascinating and somewhat of a cautionary tale. So that’s it.

And I’m doing this for the Kim Novak blogathon hosted by The Classic Movie Muse. So thanks for inviting me and giving me the opportunity to read this book, because I might not have otherwise. That’s it. I’ll talk to you later.

PS: I might add here that Kim Novak made her mark and started to really trust her own instincts at right around the end of the Hollywood studio system era. Her story is quite unique in that sense. She basically walked away from it all, and it’s easy to see why.

You can buy this book on Amazon for only $695.01. Right at moment, anyhow.

This book is only available in print, it appears, so here’s one about Kim Novak you’ll find on Apple Books.


Finally, there’s also a novel called THE SUMMER OF KIM NOVAK, which you can buy from my own online bookstore. Looks interesting, anyway.

Or you can borrow the book I read from the library Internet Archive.

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