I Used to be in Pictures tells us that even the most glamourous stars are human too
An immense and remarkable book
love this book
A beautifully illustrated book full of Hollywood stories – wonderful
It’s a case of what happened next, when the phone stopped ringing and the fan mail died off – I Used to be in Pictures has all the answers
It’s 1992 and twin brothers Austin and Howard Mutti-Mewse are enjoying university life but they have a secret, they write to former silent stars. It all began at aged 12 in their grandmother’s living room, when contemporaries were emulating Michael J Fox, they were feasting on long forgotten silent with ink pen in hand. What followed was 20 years of correspondence accumulating in filing cabinets full of letters and photos from everyone; exotic vamp Pola Negri to All-American James Stewart’. Their weird hobby, now embraced and loved by more understanding fellow graduates, they are encouraged to full fill a lifetime wish to visit Hollywood but more importantly their pen pals. What follows is a funny, yet moving ‘on the road’ novel that poignantly reveals during pit-stops the gold behind the grey.
For Austin the life has gone out of death. As a 34 year old redundant obituary writer the prospect of finding writing work in the boondocks of a seaside town, slim. In the doldrums with a child on the way and a mortgage to pay, his wife realises a temporary solution in the small ad’s; “Wanted – doctor’s receptionist”. Hired, his adventures begin. When demanding Betty Oak arrives at a NHS surgery to see a doctor complaining of her perpetual pregnancy, she’s confronted by a tall, moustached, suave receptionist Austin who fancies himself in a white coat. After phantom pregnancies Betty Oak is eager to go full-term with a shoal of shellfish and on spying the newcomer amongst his bitchy all-female counterparts, finds Austin would make a suitable stepfather. Betty is one of many in a colourful kaleidoscopic pulse of characters; patients and staff, who brought together by illness, joy, heartache and the minimum wage battle the termination of the surgery in favour of modernisation.