on 28 December 2010
A superbly illustrated book containing many rare photographs focusing on the infamous rivalry between two of universals major players of the 1930s, the birth of the Horror genre and the people who made it happen. A bittersweet tale of how bad decisions and serendipity lead to the ascension of Boris Karloff as a top billing moviestar and relegated Bela Lugosi to the 2nd tier of moviedom, (Something of a iniquity in my opinion when you watch Lugosi's performances in The Black Cat and Rue Morgue for instance).
The writing style is light and informal which makes for a very easy and enjoyable read. Chapters cover specific topics meaning you can dip in and out as you please. The focus lies on the films of the two stars so Karloff and Lugosi's lives are dealt with in broader strokes but this does not detract from the validity of the book, this is the book to have on either stars film career. Buy it and enjoy the stories surrounding their major triumphs and failures, the films they made together and the names associated with them from James Whale, Tod Browning to Carl Laemmle Jr and Snr. An essential addition to any Horror fan's library but I would suggest separate books on each star for those searching for biographies of their personal lives.
on 22 April 2016
Excellent hard back book with fantastic pictures and packed with well researched information on the most iconic horror stars ever.
Mr Mank loves this subject matter as every page is well researched and very interesting for building a complete career and film history of Hollywood's greatest horror actors.
Explores the relationship Lugosi and Karloff shared and their ongoing legacy's with 250 photographs and summaries of both men's careers, you won't be disappointed if you are a fan, worth every penny.
on 16 March 2011
i read the author's original publication of this book that came out in the early 1990s and that was good although lacking in some areas.
this updated edition is vastly improved as gregory william mank has re-written this volume and as a result, the book is over double its original length, amounting to over 700 pages and about 100 to 200 photographs.
the seperate careers of boris karloff and bela lugosi are covered in much more detail and the chapters on their collaborative films have also been written in far greater depth.
the facts and figures to be found within this book, are frankly astounding but it is also to mr. mank's credit that the text is easy to read and always fascinating.
this is not a cheap book by any means but it would be money well spent.