Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hollywood Animal to Crossbearer

Joe Eszterhas is a writer who has been interesting to me since the first time I read him in Rolling Stone. When I was a freshman in college I enjoyed his writing in RS even before I found out that he had been on the staff at my dear old alma mater's daily paper. Since he was getting to be a big shot by the time I graduated-- he was up for a National Book Award in 1974-- the school paper, if I recall correctly, ran a bunch of articles he had done while a student. I found it pretty fascinating.
Of course Joe became the highest paid Hollywood scriptwriter after Rolling Stone moved from California to NYC and Eszterhas decided it was better for him to stay in CA. Years later, after flipping-off everybody in Hollywood, he moved back to Ohio. There's just something I can relate to about that journey. Where the Hollywoodsters made their mistake with Joe was that they forgot that, when you got right down to it, he was a poor kid who had been a street reporter on the crime beat. They should have known he was going to tell on them.
Joe was a committed hedonist throughout his life. Soon after he and his wife Naomi and their kids got to Ohio he found out he had throat cancer. The good people at The Cleveland Clinic took care of that for him. (There's a lot I can relate to about that!) Now, he has some things to say about God. One of the things he says is, "Thank you." The Toledo Blade has the story here. On the religion page, no less. Why is he talking to The Blade now? His new book, Crossbearer: A Memoir of Faith is coming out next week.