ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Retro Reading: Show Business Kills by Iris Rainer Dart

Updated on January 28, 2023

Fame Can Be a Killer

Have you ever noticed that some films, TV shows and novels usually have four main characters who have been best friends for years? I never really noticed it in the past, but I think Friends brought the multi friend trend to light.

In Show Business Kills by Iris Rainer Dart, the same holds true in which four college students have remained friends for over thirty plus years. The main difference is the friends have all reached their dream of working within the entertainment industry.

What the four friends don’t know is another student has been trying desperately to reach them for years in the hopes of getting a job.

This act of desperation soon turns into a stalking situation and none of the four friends knows about it. As the friends count down to a much needed Girl’s Night, we’re introduced to Jan O’Malley (the soap opera star); Ellen Bass (the studio executive); Rose Schiffman (the Oscar nominated screenwriter) and Marly Bennett (the former sitcom star). Each has had a bad week and they hope to relieve some of their stress when they get together.

Jan is facing a contract renewal on the show and is worried that the producers are going to write her off with a cliffhanging episode. She’s worried at her age (49) no one will hire her and she has a four year old son and sister to take care of. Marly, on the other hand, has only been going on commercial interviews since her last show went off the air and her marriage to Billy Mann, the “King of Late Night” is headed for divorce.

On the production side of the coin, Ellen has been dealing with sexual harassment from her male colleagues and Rose has an offer on the table for a movie that is very close to her heart, but her agent wants her to just sell it and have the producer hire someone younger to re-write the script. Something she doesn’t want to do.

With this “midlife” crisis against them, they have to contend with tragedy when one of them is accidently shot by the desperate classmate during an unexpected meeting. As one of them lays in critical condition, it’s up to the remaining three to get through this together.

Now, I have to say that I really liked this book. Not loved but liked it. It starts out great but around chapter 14 the momentum starts to slowly fade away.

In fact, this is the first titled chapter which had me scratching my head. My first thought that maybe Rainer Dart had titled the chapters as a guide, but then later another titled chapter came up and so on.

I didn’t like these titled chapters, since Girl’s Night was now taking place in the hospital and each titled chapter is one of the characters telling a story.

While a good touch, I just felt it wasn’t necessary. These long drawn out chapters ended up taking away from the story. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good way to flesh out the characters, but sometimes, I did find my mind wandering.

Of course it’s hard to review a book with not trying to give away everything, but I did find the very last paragraph probably the most powerful one I’ve ever read.

Every emotion is touched on in this single paragraph and to me that’s great writing. Based on that paragraph alone, I thought that a lot of the previous dribble made up for it.

If you’re looking for something about behind the scenes in Hollywood, then I highly recommend this book, which was published in 1995.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)