Those who have been following this blog know that this next subject matter has been long time coming. I mean, how can I continue to write about the glitz and the glamour and overlook the queen of trash fiction herself, Ms. Jackie Collins? Utterly unacceptable, if you ask me. It has been brewing in my mind for quite some time as how to do this. Should I devote an entry on her entire body of work? Or should I just focus on one title at a time? Well, the decision has been made, dear readers; one at the time will do; and why not start with the classic of all classics, HOLLYWOOD WIVES?
I was already a young adult (about 18) when I plunged into this tale of the beautiful people and the killer that roams among them. I still remember the beginning of the novel about a guy pissing a perfect arc in a pool. Talk about a catchy line. I had never read something like that before, having always been a horror enthusiast where things like pissing seem to be nonexistent. But since I was ready for something new, this novel, plus its first vivid image, seemed to do the trick. What I didn’t know then but would soon find out was that HOLLYWOOD WIVES was my first attempt at what I consider now to be a must have for any healthy gay man.
Let me explain. Since my younger days, I’ve always been attracted to on-screen melodramas set in Hollywood. VALLEY OF THE DOLLS, THE OSCAR, THE LEGEND OF LYLAH CLARE—I have seen and cherished them all. But for some strange reason this specific love didn’t transfer to my reading choice. Why, you may ask? Call it a closet case syndrome (which I still was at that time). Call it even a prejudice on my part. The fact is, I was uninterested into venturing into that field. That is until Jackie came along. Surprisingly enough, she made it all seem so inviting. And once I was lured into her world, I was definitely a goner.
HOLLYWOOD WIVES tells the tale of—you’ve guessed it—Hollywood wives. Those strong ladies who are the faces behind their spouses success. They make it all happen for them. From setting deals to even controlling their hubby libidos, nothing fazes them. But, of course, beyond their strong personas lie insecure girls afraid of loosing it all by the snap of two fingers. And why wouldn’t they be, when there’s always someone younger or wiser to take their rightful places? As if that wasn’t enough, a killer with an agenda is now invading their privileged turf. Who is this person and what does he want? Half the fun is trying to figure out his identity, the other half his modus operandi, for it is a strained but oh-so dramatic itinerary, let me tell you.
Did I succeed in tempting you in any way? Hope so, for the novel is definitely worth the investment. I haven’t glanced at it in years, having returned to horror almost full time. But I still remember how much fun I had with it. In fact, I don’t recall the last time I felt so comfortable reading a book such as HOLLYWOOD WIVES. It gave me a reason to adjust to my true self. It didn’t make me a flaming queen (not that there’s anything wrong with that) like some would believe. It just opened doors to a world that I thought I knew little about but certainly felt comfortable in. Because, yeah, it’s okay to enjoy this type of a read (or any read for that matter). It’s certainly more than okay to be as proud of it as of who you are. The key ingredient is just saying fuck it (pardon my Canadian French) and do it. And no better than a Jackie Collins book to remind us of that.