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The Trouble with Scarlett (Hollywood's Garden of Allah novels Book 2) Paperback – 11 Oct 2012


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The Trouble with Scarlett (Hollywood's Garden of Allah novels Book 2) + The Garden on Sunset (Hollywood's Garden of Allah novels Book 1)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 346 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (11 Oct. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1480044776
  • ISBN-13: 978-1480044777
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.2 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,055,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Martin Turnbull moved to Los Angeles in the mid-1990s where, after a long stint in the travel industry, he worked as a private tour guide showing both locals and out-of-towners the movie studios, Beverly Hills mansions, Hollywood hills vistas, and where all the bodies are buried.

He worked for a summer as a guide at the Warner Bros. movie studios in Burbank showing movie fans through the sound stages where Bogie and Bacall, Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, and James Cagney created some of Hollywood's classic motion pictures.

For nine years, he also volunteered as an historical walking tour docent with the Los Angeles Conservancy.

From an early age, Martin was enchanted with old movies from Hollywood's golden era, and has spent many a happy hour watching the likes of Garland, Gable, Crawford, Garbo, Grant, Miller, Kelly, Astaire, Rogers, Turner, and Welles go through their paces.

When he discovered the wonderful world of biographies, autobiographies, and memoirs, his love of reading merged with his love of movies and his love of history to produce a three-headed hydra gobbling up everything in his path.

In 2009, he came across an online article about the Garden of Allah Hotel, which stood at the corner of Sunset and Crescent Heights Boulevards at the start of the Sunset Strip from 1927--the dawn of the talkies--to 1959--the dusk of the studio system. He recognized it as a potentially rich field for storytelling, and was amazed to discover nobody had done anything with it. Almost immediately, he conceived writing a series of novels set in and around the Garden of Allah chronicling the unfolding evolution of Hollywood's golden era through the lives of its residents.

In 2012 he published the first book, "The Garden on Sunset." A year later, he released the follow-up, "The Trouble with Scarlett" and in 2013 he published book three, "Citizen Hollywood." In 2015 published the 4th book in the Holywood's Garden of Allah series: "Searchlights and Shadows" set in around Los Angeles and Hollywood during WWII.

You can watch a video of Martin Turnbull presenting a talk on the Garden of Allah at the LAVA Sunday Salon in Los Angeles, 2013: http://www.lavatransforms.org/salon-turnbull-june2013

Product Description

About the Author

From an early age, Martin was enchanted with old movies from Hollywood’s golden era—from the dawn of the talkies in the late 1920s to the close of the studio system in the late 1950s—and has spent many a happy hour watching the likes of Garland, Gable, Crawford, Garbo, Grant, Miller, Kelly, Astaire, Rogers, Turner, and Welles go through their paces. It feels inevitable that he would someday end up writing about them. Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Martin moved to Los Angeles in the mid-90s where he now works as a writer, blogger, webmaster, and tour guide.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Kay on 6 Feb. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was great really enjoyed it and would strongly recommend it. As a second book it did not retell the first book (as a lot of second books do).It was fast paced and fantastic.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read this three times now - it truly deserves to be made into a TV series. A brilliant insight into 1930's Hollywood. Looking forward to the next in the series.
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By C. Wild on 18 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 55 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A Dream in Technicolor 26 Feb. 2013
By Jeff Kurtti - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a fan of "The Garden on Sunset," it was a joy to join again in the endearing story of the three Hollywood ascendants: Marcus, Kathryn, and Gwendolyn. Through an adept combination of skillful character development and evocative settings, Martin Turnbull has, in the second novel in a promised series, become even more of a solid and resonant storyteller.

In "The Trouble with Scarlett," Turnbull's characters have become (as real people do over time) more stable and clearly defined, and what might have deteriorated to an expected "gimmick" of involving his fictional characters with real people in historic events has instead become even more seamless, what might have been a clumsy technical contrivance is now an organic and properly rhythmic narrative voice.

Even when real people and events are portrayed, rather than retelling the same old warhorse tales that have been seen and heard a million times, Turnbull has chosen his supporting cast and settings wisely, in order to enhance and focus his narrative and deepen the reader's understanding of and affection for his characters. Rather than this calling attention to artifice, his deftness creates situations and events that ring absolutely true, and that range from the hilarious to the heartbreaking--sometimes in the same paragraph.

In "The Trouble with Scarlett" and its predecessor, "The Garden on Sunset," Turnbull has created a gentle, deeply-felt, and intelligent construct for telling relatable human stories with endearing characters in a delicious and fascinating setting. These novels will delight movie buffs with their erudite references and meticulously accurate people and places; and educate neophytes (the right ones, anyway) to seek out the films, personalities, and historic events and places that are portrayed.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Like A Fly On The Wall 20 Oct. 2012
By jwmanus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
One thing that never gets old--celebrity gossip. On the surface, this novel is akin to People magazine (if People magazine had been around in the 1930s). With every page there are famous names, fabulous fashions, relationships forming and relationships dissolving. Beautiful homes. Celebrity parties. Excess to the nth degree. Turnbull's Garden of Allah novels are pure fun with famous actors, directors, writers and moguls as far as the eye can see. (These books would make terrific movies or television series) The author knows the period. He understands it. He brings the golden age of Hollywood to life. Reading it is like being a fly on the wall at an exclusive party.

On another level, if you're a fan of the movie for Gone With The Wind, this novel is a must read. Searching for the actress to play Scarlett O'Hara obsessed the nation for a year. And the way the movie was made? Read the book and see for yourself.

The Trouble With Scarlett is much more than gossip or history. It follows the adventures and misadventures of three friends trying to make it big in Hollywood. Beautiful Gwendolyn who'll do anything to get her big break in the movies; sweet, troubled Marcus the talented screenwriter; and sensible Kathryn, girl reporter. Over and over they're forced to ask themselves: Just how far am I willing to go to follow my dreams?
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
So much fun... 19 Nov. 2012
By Anna - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an amazing combination of historical Hollywood personalities and fun interesting fictional characters. Martin Turnbull has definitely been added to my favorite authors list. The Trouble with Scarlett kept me interested and had me laughing. The story makes you feel like you are there as the search for Scarlett unfolds and the drama behind the screen unravels. I have enjoyed both books in this series and look forward to the next.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Screwball Comedy In Book Form 16 Nov. 2012
By Bitter Lawyer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
DISCLAIMER: I received a free copy of this book for review purposes.

A fun and funny romp through the early days of Hollywood. Turnbull has created a world rich in accurate historical detail for his characters to wander through and populated it with real life stars and studio bigwigs, writers and reporters. His knowledge of the period is impressive. Vivid little touches like F. Scott Fitzgerald's addiction to sugary soft drinks really show off the author's ability to turn obscure factoids into compelling insights into character. This humanizes people we otherwise tend to see as a famous name and list of accomplishments.

Turnbull introduces us to this world through the struggles of three aspiring wannabes, as they try to break into acting, writing, and reporting respectively. Each of them is likeable in their own way. Gwendolyn is spunky and bull-headed. Marcus has a softness to him and a craving to prove himself. Kathryn wears the reluctant cynicism of every newshound both before and after her. Classic underdogs all. If you can't see glimpses of yourself in one of them, then you'll at least find yourself rooting for them to overcome the staggering odds aligned against them.

The tone of the book resembles a sitcom or screwball comedy with characters leaping from one humorous situation to the next. This keeps the pace lively, but leads to one of the flaws of The Trouble With Scarlett. First, the need to put Kathryn, Marcus, and Gwendolyn into the middle of big events, like the burning of the King Kong set for Gone With The Wind, can lead to odd jumps in time. It's a bit jarring to realize that several months have gone by since the last chapter.

Second, when you know that some important plot point or funny bit of slapstick or critical encounter is always going to occur whenever the narrative shifts to a different character, it removes any sense of surprise you might enjoy when an unexpected event blindsides you as you read.

Lastly, and most importantly, the lack of down time means that the focus is mostly on "Things Happening" and not on "Characters Being." To be fair there is the odd bit of introspection from the main three, but for the most part, Marcus, Gwen, and Kathryn are the same people they were at the start of the story. We know how they behave and how they react to situations, but we don't always get to know who they are on a deeper level. We don't see them change. And given how much potential these characters have to transform into fully-fledged three dimensional people despite their start as strings of words on a page, this is disappointing.

However, as a comedy the book succeeds, and as a glimpse of a vanished world built on dreams and back-stabbing, The Trouble With Scarlett is exceptional. Whatever flaws it has are structural, and not every book has to be a serious examination of existential man. Enjoy it as a light-hearted frolic through the sets and spotlights of old Hollywood.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Can't wait for the next book!! 22 Oct. 2012
By HROB - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book just as much as I enjoyed The Garden on Sunset. Great stories - great characters! I've recommened both to many friends and relatives.
Looking forward to the next book!
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