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The Castle on Sunset: Life, Death, Love, Art, and Scandal at Hollywood's Chateau Marmont, by Shawn Levy

The Castle on Sunset: Life, Death, Love, Art, and Scandal at Hollywood's Chateau Marmont, by Shawn Levy


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Since 1929, Hollywood’s brightest stars have flocked to the Chateau Marmont as if it were a second home. An apartment building-turned-hotel, the Chateau has been the backdrop for generations of gossip and folklore: where director Nicholas Ray slept with his sixteen-year-old Rebel Without a Cause star Natalie Wood; Jim Morrison swung from the balconies; John Belushi suffered a fatal overdose; and Lindsay Lohan got the boot after racking up nearly $50,000 in charges in less than two months. But despite its mythic reputation, much of what has happened inside the Chateau’s walls has eluded the public eye—until now. With wit and insight, Shawn Levy recounts the wild revelries and scandalous liaisons, the creative breakthroughs and marital breakdowns, the births and deaths to which the hotel has been a party. Vivid, salacious, and richly informed, The Castle on Sunset is a glittering tribute to Hollywood as seen from inside the walls of its most hallowed hotel.

“Fascinating, dishy, and glimmering with insight . . . This is the definitive book about Hollywood’s most storied hotel.” —Cheryl Strayed

“Stitched through with savory anecdotes that navigate us through an ever-shifting city, as the [Chateau Marmont’s] own story arc mirrors Hollywood’s various transitions: from the studio-run golden era, to Laurel Canyon’s singer-songwriter scene, to the years of the comedy clubs and private bottle-service rooms.” —Los Angeles Times

“I want to live inside this book!” —Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of Daisy Jones & The Six

“Fantastic. . . . The Castle on Sunset plays like a riff on Kenneth Anger’s legendary Hollywood Babylon, but consigned to one key locale.” —The Stranger
“For years Shawn Levy has been shaming the rest of us who write about movies with his contagious high spirits, elegant phrasemaking, Stakhanovite appetite for research, and maddeningly natural reader rapport . . . Check in, call room service, draw yourself a hot bath, and luxuriate!” —David Kipen, author of Dear Los Angeles
“Peering behind the celluloid dream, Levy lends historical context to vitally important discussions, such as the role of immigrants in shaping American identity.” —Los Angeles Review of Books
“The Castle on Sunset gives the Marmont the splendid biography it deserves.” —Steven Gaines, author of Philistines at the Hedgerow
“Engrossing. . . . [An] eye-popping and entertainingly lurid tale of Hollywood scandal.” —Publishers Weekly

Paperback. April 28, 2020