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Letters from a Known Woman: Joan Fontaine [Hardcover]

Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Paperback 16.89  

Book Description

1 Jun 2005
Tommy Garrett is a writer and entertainment publicist who has worked with many of the golden era stars. He's become an expert lecturer on the history of Hollywood and movies. Tommy is a columnist for Laurel Canyon Newspaper in Beverly Hills, California and became a fan of Joan Fontaine's in his youth after seeing movies like Rebecca and Suspicion. After corresponding with her for years, he decided to put her great story on paper and is now working on his next book, Cowboys of Hollywood.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 132 pages
  • Publisher: Wasteland Press (1 Jun 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933265612
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933265612
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,803,356 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Return to Sender 8 Feb 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
From the awkward pun of the title, through his somewhat overwrought introduction (think Gwynnie Paltrow at the Oscars with added emotion) where he thanks all those "who gave me the energy to keep going when I was exhausted" (this book has less than 50 pages of text), to the apparent surprise of "When she found out that I was going to write this book ... she refused to speak to me anymore" Mr Garrett is quickly revealed to be something of an over-zealous fan, apparently spurned by his idol, cashing in his fandom, but having absolutely nothing to say. Perhaps 'fan' is too strong a word, as "Letters ..." is ripe with inconsistencies, neither is there any sense of the author having had any kind of significant correspondence with Ms Fontaine whatsoever, other than the twenty or so banal 'thank you' notes he reproduces proudly by way of conclusion (I half expected to see a polite "No milk today, thank you", but you can't have everything). It is in fact the only time he quotes her directly.

None of this would be too disastrous I suppose if this were at least an engaging read, but Mr Garrett is to the written word what Madonna is to acting. His 'style' is all over the place, jumping from one topic to the next, often from sentence to sentence, and back again, which is somewhat bewildering. It's like overhearing the teenage babysitter gossiping ten to the dozen down the phone. Probably to a wrong number. He simply presents tittle-tattle as fact. There is no framework or structure. No sense of chronology. Nor is there any attempt at discussion of Ms Fontaine's film roles, other than to blurt out titles.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book - Buy it! 12 July 2005
Format:Paperback
If you know everything about Joan Fontaine or nothing much about her at all, this book is for you. The author draws upon his personal relationship with the actress and what evolves is a very honest viewpoint of a complicated life and career. So, if you're a Joan Fontaine expert you'll learn things you've always wondered about. On the other hand if you know very little about her the author gives you a basic rundown of her life and career and gets you up to speed before explaining where he entered her life.
The photographs are amazing. Many have never been published until now. A must have for any fan of classic Hollywood films.
Highly recommend!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read about two feuding actresses! 22 July 2005
Format:Paperback
This is a great read for anyone who likes Hollywood gossip or history. The author paints a tragic portrait of Joan Fontaine and her family and their lives. There are many fabulous pictures that really bring the book to life. It is a quick and easy read, good for summer reading on the beach!
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2.0 out of 5 stars repeatition of very few facts 4 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I AM A FAN OF THE LATE JOAN FONTAINE AND THE OLD MOVIES AND EAGERLY LOOKED FORWARD TO READING THIS BOOK. THIS BOOK CONTAINED VERY FEW FACTS AND REPEATED THOSE FACTS OFTEN THROUGH THE BOOK. A LOT OF THE BOOK CONTAINS SIGNED PHOTOS AND MOVIE POSTERS WHICH WHERE NICE.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book about Hollywood legend! 12 July 2005
Format:Hardcover
"Letters from a Known Woman: Joan Fontaine" tells the riveting tale of legendary Oscar-winning actress Joan Fontaine and turbulent relationship with her sister Olivia DeHavilland, also an actress. Illustrated with nearly 100 photographs from Ms. Fontaine's life and career, this book charts her rise to fame in two Alfred Hitchcock films, "Rebecca," and "Suspicion," the latter of which garnered her an Oscar. The in-depth analysis of the sisters' relationship, characterized by an intense rivalry, makes Mr. Garrett's book a fascinating read and a story worthy of its own glamorous movie. Highly recommended!
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