I recognize Lorna Landvik’s name as an author whom many people I know really enjoy reading. I had never read any of her work, so when this ARC was available to me, I was delighted to give it a read.
Best to Laugh is almost autobiographical and at the very least, an homage to Landvik’s early days in Hollywood.
Candy Pekkala has the gift of being able to make people laugh. Quick of wit and highly intelligent she’s able to make even some of the hardest personalities soften. She moves to Hollywood from Minnesota to try to find her way in the Hollywood/Comedy scene. She does all the typical Hollywood fare, from taking temp jobs (which gets her in to a mansion that is clearly the Playboy Mansion, though differently named for the book), to amateur mic night at comedy clubs, to van tours of out-lying comedy clubs, to getting better gigs with better clubs. She takes on a stage name (Candy Ohi) and with the help of some friends, creates a stage show of a mock tv late night talk show.
There is nothing earth-shattering or bust-a-gut laughingly funny here, but there IS a really, really nice story of hard-work, dedication, and success.
Having lived in the same Hollywood neighborhoods as ‘Candy’ (and having come from Minnesota myself), I recognized a lot of what Landvik writes about. The people, the places, the ideals … Landvik nails it all perfectly. This is the sort of Hollywood success story that you don’t normally hear about. Usually it’s about that ‘big star’ or undiscovered starlet, but there are so many more people like Candy (and presumably Landvik) who find a way to do what they enjoy, enjoy what they do, and are successful with their careers.
I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more Lorna Landvik.
Looking for a good book? Best to Laugh is a delightful look at the hard work of a woman in comedy show-business in Hollywood of the 1970’s.
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Best to Laugh
author: Lorna Landvik
publisher: University of Minnesota Press
hardcover, 296 pages