By Show and Tell
By Bree Davies
By Bree Davies
By Cory Casciato
By Emilie Johnson
By Robin Edwards
By Bree Davis
By Josiah M. Hesse
Joe Eszterhasí new book, American Rhapsody, ends with a chapter titled "Willard Comes Clean," in which Bill Clintonís penis speaks and, God help us, raps. It is, by far, the most compelling chapter in a book otherwise full of so-what anecdotes (Farrah Fawcett once took a dump on a Hollywood producerís lawn while New Line head of production Mike DeLuca was out getting a blow job on the balcony), ho-hum revelations (Chinatown producer Robert Evansí description of Sharon Stone as "a lying dumb cunt whoís had all the brains in her head fucked out"), and far-flung lunacy (Bill and Monicaís "oral-anal" contact, as referenced in Ken Starrís report). The book is indeed the summerís must-read: You must read it to believe what absolute insane garbage it really is. And you thought Showgirls was bad.
By the time you get to the chapter about Clintonís talking pecker (called Willard because itís longer than Willie, or so says Gennifer Flowers), youíll merely shrug, then collapse into a mass of giggles--as Jon Stewart did last week on The Daily Show, when the author read the final two paragraphs of his book, in which Willard delivers his one-eyed monologue. ("I am his banana peel, his smoking gun, his Mannlicher Carcano rifle..." and so forth.) Stewart looked as though heíd wet his pants, and Eszterhas, who wrote the book during a three-year period spent watching ImpeachTV at his Maui home while poring over The Starr Report a dozen times, took it as a compliment. He was quite pleased, a smirk poking out of his bushy beard.
And maybe he ought to be. Maybe this book--part confessional, part obsessional (not a real word, which never stopped Joe)--is one 432-page punch line to the national joke known as Bill Clinton. Maybe itís a big put-on, a nyuk-nyuk rant-and-rave for which Alfred A. Knopf paid a hefty hunk of change to publish alongside the works of John Updike and Toni Morrison--neither of whom ever hinted, wink-wink, that Bill Clinton slept with Sharon Stone and Barbra Streisand. How can you take seriously a book in which Sasquatch insists Stone rubbed herself to climax on his corpulent flesh? Even Stone has insisted she was unaware Joe could write comedy.
The 56-year-old, Hungarian-born Eszterhas, talking from a hotel room in Chicago, likes to call the book a "mutant"--meaning, itís neither fact nor fiction, neither memoir nor exposé. At most, itís a mishmash of previously published "truths" and whispered rumors--say, Hunter S. Thompson dishing dirt with Matt Drudge over Thai stick and tequila, or Ken Starr penning porno for Henry Miller freaks. American Rhapsody bounces from reflections of days gone by ("We were the free-speech generation of the sixties, the generation of free love and communal sex, of one-night stands and no guilt, of bedroom experimentation..." blahblahblah) to bitchy backstabs about Hollywood whores and Washington weenies. Pick it up, and you canít put it down. That, or youíll hurl it against the wall just to see whether it sticks.
"Itís an outrageous, in-your-face, middle-finger-extended kind of book, especially in a politically correct world that I think in some ways is Stalinist in its politically correctness," Eszterhas says. "Itís a full-scale, full-frontal assault, and I knew there would be people who would love it and there would be people who would hate it, and that seems to be whatís happening."