Category Archives: Book Reviews

Thank you, Gail!

A really wonderful Amazon review for my biography on Olive Borden. The review is reposted below, along with a thank you to “Gail” for being so appreciative of the effort I put into the book. More importantly, I’m SO glad she enjoyed it 🙂
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wish Most Biographers Worked This Hard, March 29, 2011. By Gail K. Powers “Abra” (Harbor Country, Mi,N. Naples, FL, Chicago area) – This review is from: Olive Borden: The Life and Films of Hollywood’s “Joy Girl” (Paperback).
 
The Review:
 
Regardless of whether you are intimately familiar with Olive Borden’s film career or not, this is an illuminating look at a screen personality whose work and personal life story rivals anything that has been presented on the big screen. Olive, known in her heyday as Hollywood’s “Joy Girl”, came from a humble background and with looks, luck, and no small amount of personal charisma and talent became not only successful but wealthy as well. Unfortunately, the excesses of fame took their toll on her both emotionally and physically and lead not only to her ultimate downfall but to an early grave.

Author Michelle Vogel has done an enormous amount of research and with the help of Ralph Grave’s Jr. (who knew Borden when he was a child) has reconstructed Olive’s story while delving into her career at Fox, her lengthy ill-fated romance with screen hunk George O’Brien, her abrupt parting with Fox, her unsuccessful marriages, bouts with alcoholism, and her freefall into oblivion, and her death in 1947 at the Los Angeles Mission.
While this book is crammed with pictures of Borden and does a great job tracking her short but productive career, what specifically impressed me about this book was Vogel’s determination and talent. Vogel not only resurrected Borden but managed to get a lot of significant information about someone who had died over 60 years ago but who had been virtually forgotten and abandoned for so much longer. Vogel made me care about Borden. Her intensity and passion for Borden became this reader’s also. Bottom line is that Vogel has raised the mark for what a biography should do. Vogel didn’t leave anything unsaid and really fleshed out Borden for me and made me care.

My response:

Hello Gail,

I’ve been pretty busy finishing up my latest book on the life and career of Lupe VĂ©lez, so my Amazon cruising has been limited of late. I only became aware of your post this evening. Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to write such a thorough and complimentary review of my book. A review such as yours makes all the hard work worthwhile. Compiling a life story for someone who died so long ago is really tough, thank you for appreciating and acknowledging my efforts. I’m really pleased you enjoyed (and became engrossed) in Olive’s story so much. Thanks again! 🙂

Best wishes, Michelle Vogel.

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Olive Borden Made the Top Ten Silent Film Books for 2010!

See List HERE

 

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New Review From DAEIDA Magazine – August, 2010 Issue

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Fantastic DAEIDA Magazine Review Of My Olive Borden Book!

Page 7 – Read it HERE

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Yet Another Olive Borden Review @ Rogue Cinema


A Review on Olive Borden by James L. Neibaur of Rogue Cinema

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Marjorie Main Review



“Marjorie Main: The Life and Films of Hollywood’s Ma Kettle” is a mouthful. But this new biography by Michelle Vogel, published by the distinguished publishing house of McFarland, is a one-of-a-kind gem. So many books written about the actors and actresses we all know and love for their exemplary work on the great Silver Screen just don’t grab us or hold us spellbound. Books about Olivier, Hattie McDaniel and Louella Parsons, for example, all sound fascinating and interesting but most fall short of their marks because so many writers choose the same icons over and over to write about.

Not this author. Michelle Vogel, one of the most valued and respected writers in the industry has struck gold again. First, it was another McFarland publishing production, Vogel’s “Gene Tierney: A Biography” and now her main story. Both books are Big Screen worthy of a biopic.

This book is filled with over seventy-six photographs and 216 pages with a very nicely designed hardcover. (You’d expect less from McFarland?)

But back to Main. A well-respected actress in a time when women were not powerhouses in the business, she’s now largely forgotten, but not because of a lack of work. She had lots. This book chronicles Main’s childhood in Indiana and delves into what led her to become a star. When I first read it in two nights, I couldn’t put it down. Then I went back and read it for the third time just to get a feel of it. Vogel, a young new mother, seems to have channeled herself into Marjorie Main’s very soul and almost time-travels with her to understand (and make her readers understand) what life was for this performer. From Stage to Theatre and the Big Screen, Main’s life was never boring. Nor is this book. I suggest every Hollywood historian, actress and actor purchase this remarkable volume. Vogel and McFarland appear to have a marriage made in publishing heaven. She continues to produce best-sellers and this one will be no exception.


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Olive Thomas Book Review

Olive Thomas Book Review

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