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Killer Instinct: How Two Young Producers Took on Hollywood Paperback – 1 Jun 1998

5 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books (A Division of Bantam Doubleday Del; 1st Trade Pbk. Ed edition (1 May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767900758
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767900751
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,124,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Little Mo VINE VOICE on 31 May 2010
Format: Hardcover
Killer Instinct is a fascinating book that goes into great detail about the making of the film Natural Born Killers. The first half of the book is particularly interesting as Jane Hamsher explains the difficulties that she and her partner Don Murphy had getting the film into production. The second half explains all the insanity that took place during filming. I really enjoyed reading about all the stuff that Oliver Stone got up to. There's plenty about the actors and producers of the film too. What makes the book so compelling though is the fact that Hamsher is brutally honest about what went on and who did what. I remember all the hype around Tarantino back in the day and so it's interesting to get an inside look from someone involved in the industry at that time. Well worth reading.
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Format: Hardcover
Think about all the backbiting, petty beauracracy, personality clashes and rampaging ego,s in your workplace, then multiply it by a hundred, nay a thousand because according to “Killer Instinct” that’s what it,s like when you make a major Hollywood movie.
Hamsher was a producer on “Natural Born Killers” and this is the book about the making of that film, from it,s embryonic stages right through to it,s release and the furore surrounding it.N.B.K. as it shall now be known was initially a script written by Quentin Tarrantino about two trailer trash lovers who go on a killing spree. Hamsher and her partner Don Murphy picked up the option on the script from Tarrantino who at this point was still a “video store geek”.Initially a mutual friend of both parties was slated to direct the supposed low budget film but when it became clear to Hamsher and Murphy that he was working under two misguided illusions : 1)That he actually had some talent: 2)That he had a clue what he was doing. ,and since they had no firm contract with him they decided to pass on his dubious directorial skills. Needless to say he does,nt take this well and decides to sue. As this drags interminably on it emerges that Tarrantino who by now is on the verge of making his big breakthrough with “Reservoir Dogs” does,nt want N.B.K. made and is encouraging the jilted would be director on from the sidelines.And then it gets really weird.
This is a riveting and revealing book, very well and waspishly written by Hamsher with pace and zeal. She,s not afraid to dish the dirt and some of her character assesments are so caustic they smoulder on the page. Not too many involved in this project emerge unscathed .
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A review of the book:

It's a very entertaining book about the making of Natural Born Killers. Sadly having then re-watched the movie I can't help but feel it was a lot of effort for very little. The film is pretty bad.

You might expect it to be a bit cut off from the proper film making creative side as it's from the producer's point of view. She was always on set and was dealing with Oliver Stone all the time so it's not too far away from the actual making of the movie.

The stuff about music was very interesting. She appears to have been very important in finding music for Oliver Stone to consider (it turns out he knows next to nothing about music). She doesn't seem to get any credit for this outside of this book.

Interestingly she says she dislikes the soundtrack album. I bought the album on the cheap years ago and I hated it too. It wasn't full songs, but instead a heavily edited mix tape collage. Waiting For The Miracle by Leonard Cohen for example is a seven minute song, and yet it's less than four minutes on the CD. Also some pointless dialogue from the movie had been included. On a Tarantino soundtrack CD the dialogue works out of context as it's not plot specific stuff. In Natural Born Killers the dialogue was conventional plot driving stuff so it didn't work.

Her name was absent from the CD liner notes. Trent Reznor, of Nine Inch Nails, came in very late and had little to do with the music selected. He is first credited, followed by Stone and then the (apparently useless) official music supervisor. I think she was right to be happy not to be associated with it.

There's a big section about a truck that turned up to be used as product placement.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9e22db04) out of 5 stars 144 reviews
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e4576b4) out of 5 stars If I could give this book a perfect 10, I would 7 Mar. 2012
By C.J. Ellisson - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
I haven't read a traditional thriller novel in years, preferring my newer interest of strong heroines portrayed in urban fantasy novels. I like darker books, not books seeped in romance. Finding a good book is sometimes hard in a genre that mixes the two so much. After a while, those heroines with their supernatural powers and impossible skill sets often become cookie-cutter and formulaic, leaving a reader longing for something more believable, more *real*.

Look no further than the heroine created by Ms. Sharp. You will quickly slip into the character's skin and see parts of yourself within her inner complexity. I felt like I walked the streets of Lancaster with her and felt the pain of her past that shaped her into who she is today.

Charlie Fox is strong and a survivor through and through. She reminds me of Charlaine Harris' Lily Bard, in the author's popular woman sleuth Shakespeare series (one of two excellent mystery series she wrote before the one based on HBO's True Blood). While Fox's adventures are more bloody, more violent, and more heart stopping than Bard's, my comparison is more due to the smooth story telling, excellent pacing, and credible characters, which makes the portrayal of these fictional women very real and very believable.

I raced through the pages eager to see where the writer would take us and how Fox would pull through. Very rarely do I give up an entire day of my life to a book. This one was the exception. I loved it so much I immediately bought a copy for my father and plan to buy the others in the series as well. Ms. Sharp has a fan in me for life and I can hardly wait to read what other adventures she dreams up for Charlie Fox. Simply outstanding!
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9de81b64) out of 5 stars Excellent new British tough heroine 3 Nov. 2003
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
If you like US female PIs (VI Warshawski, Kinsey Millhone) then you'll like Charlie Fox.
Charlie is tough. She teaches women's self-defence (which she took up after being raped in the army), rides a motorbike and is very independent.
The book starts with Charlie's friend Clare being attacked during karaoke night at a local nightclub by reigning champion Susie Hollins. Charlie deals with the attack and is offered a job as a bouncer by the clubs owner. Hours later Susie Hollins is found dead - the latest victim of a homicidal rapist that has been terrorising the local community. Charlie suspects a link between the nightclub and the homicidal rapist and she begins to investigate.
The book moves along at a cracking pace and Charlie is a believable tough heroine. The identity of the killer may be obvious in a plot that has been used many times before, but Charlie is interesting enough to carry you through.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e685c54) out of 5 stars A very worthwhile read - especially the foreword! 25 Sept. 2011
By K. O'Leary - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am glad I purchased this e-book. I wanted to read those extra scenes, and it has been lovely to visit Charlie's story again from the beginning, particularly after reading the 'Fox Five' e-thology.

Zoë recently wrote about her fondness for Dick Francis books growing up, and I can see similar elements in `Killer Instinct'. Clever use of words, twists and turns in the story, and a central core of justice. I like details and back story so it's really satisfying to read about Clare and Jacob, as well as background about where Charlie came from as a person. Overall it reads like an easy conversation, with intriguing and sometimes uncomfortable elements.

My fondness for 'Killer Instinct' is also sparked by Lee Child's foreword; it is my favorite relateable anecdote for books - Lee,your story made me laugh out loud - thanks for the enjoyment! As for the book I devoured it in an afternoon, I couldn't put it down. For a first novel, it's impressive.

The series and the writing has grown from strength to strength, I suppose I enjoyed the later books more because I came across them first - though this filled in story links alluded to in the later books. I find myself liking gory detail much less these days, so for me it's a well-balanced blend of a rollicking good read, without the stuff that keeps me awake nights. Charlie herself is someone I can relate to, in how she attempts to address the effects of pivotal events in her life - seeing how she handles her dilemmas has kept me engrossed. Character development is something that really keeps my interest, as well as the unexpected, and I've certainly been surprised.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e00893c) out of 5 stars Killer Instinct 5 Sept. 2011
By D. Willner - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
I have been reading this series as it came out so it was a real pleasure to go back to the beginning and see Charlie as we first meet her. What a difference! Re-reading Killer Instinct made me appreciate Charlie's growth so much more. She is a fascinating character from the beginning and grows in each book. I am convinced that this is a series that needs to be read in order so one sees how Charlie's character is developed. Going back to the beginning with Charlie only reinforces that opinion.

This is one of my all time favorite series. If you are just starting the books, lucky you. If, like me, you are starting it again, it is time well spent. But then I think any time spent with Charlie is time well spent.
Killer Instinct: Charlie Fox book one
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e383750) out of 5 stars An amazing heroine that keeps you reading! 18 Mar. 2012
By DAGraystone - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love books with heroines that are strong, but vulnerable, capable, but not indestructible, intelligent, but not infallible. Charlie Fox hits the mark every time. Zoe Sharp gives us a taste of Charlie's past, building it slowly, filling in the blanks, making us wonder and guess so that Charlie's past becomes part of the mystery of the book. And the rest of the story is an excellent mystery as well with interwoven plots and great 3-dimensional characters. The next book in the series is definitely on my To Read list. Happy to see there are 4 more novels for me to devour. All we need now is a movie deal!
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