Archive for November, 2011

Maslin massacres Unreal Estate

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Janet Maslin‘s knickers are in a twist over Unreal Estate. You can read her evisceration of book (and author) here.

Unreal Estate Rising

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Unreal Estate rose to #4 on the Book Soup bestseller list this week, topping the Steve Jobs biography for the first time. And last night’s book party at Glenn Horowitz Bookseller attracted model Ekaterina Trifonova, New York Grand Opera soprano Victoria Miningham and clubland’s Alison Devlin (at right), David Redden of Sothebys, James Atlas, photographer Jessica Burstein, Tracey Jackson, Tara Palmeri of Page Six and many more.

Unreal up close this week

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A reminder that on Tuesday night November 29th from 6pm-8pm, Glenn Horowitz Bookseller, 50 1/2 E. 64th St., will hold a champagne reception and book-signing celebrating Unreal Estate, co-hosted by John McWhinnie and Tracey Jackson, and on Wednesday October 30th from 7pm-8:30 pm The Wilton Library, 137 Old Ridgefield Road in Wilton, Connecticut, is sponsoring a talk about the book, followed by a Q&A session and signing. Reservations are recommended for the latter event. Please come!

Manic Monday

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In today’s Crain’s New York Business, I consider the anti-carriage horse movement. In this week’s Newsweek, I look at the 1%, how they spend their money, and how they feel about it. Both subjects, I feel compelled to add, are more than a little unreal. (The image (right) is the lobby of Fifteen Central Park West, subject of my next book on the wacky world of unreal estate.)

Unreal makes SocietynewsLA

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Ellen Olivier‘s SocietyNewsLA has posted a report on the launch of Unreal Estate at the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills.

Movin’ on up (the bestseller list)

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Unreal Estate has risen to #6 on the Los Angeles Times bestseller list for hardcover non-fiction this week.

Connie Martinson is Unreal (part 3)

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Here’s the last part of my appearance on Connie Martinson Talks Books, talking about Unreal Estate. Click below or any Unreal Estate link to see the first two segments.

“As juicy as it is enlightening.” –The Connecticut Post

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In Sunday’s Connecticut Post (as well as the Stamford Advocate and the Greenwich Times), Ellery Queen Award-winning book critic Joe Meyers reviews Unreal Estate. “Gross seems to be picking up where the late, great Dominick Dunne left off in his fascination with the ways that high life and low life come together,” he writes. “Gross gives us the lowdown on an incredible cast of characters…[He] is such a good storyteller that he makes the lives of Los Angeles players most readers have never heard of just as compelling as the accounts of the celebrities.”

Beverly Hills in Wilton, CT, Unreal Estate on Madison

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The New York phase of Unreal Estate’s debut begins next week. Please join me at Glenn Horowitz Bookseller, 50 1/2 E. 64th St., on Tuesday night November 29th from 6pm-8pm, for a champagne reception and book-signing co-hosted by John McWhinnie and Tracey Jackson, and at The Wilton Library, 137 Old Ridgefield Road in Wilton, Connecticut, from 7pm-8:30 pm on Wednesday October 30th for a talk about the book, followed by a Q&A session and signing. Reservations are recommended for the latter event. “The author is the pre-eminent chronicler of America’s rich and powerful and in his latest offering, he uncovers … Continue reading

Unreal on the air, Part Two

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Here’s Part Two of my interview with Connie Martinson, which appeared on WNYC here and LA Citview in California.

“Great dish,” says Headbutler.com

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Jesse Kornbluth, an old friend, touts three books by old friends of his today on headbutler.com, leading with Unreal Estate, which he deems a page-turner. “Why didn’t today’s owners of the great LA estates get together and offer Gross a house of his own not to write the book?” he asks.

Connie Martinson gets Unreal

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Clueless but kind friends often ask authors, “Why don’t you go on Oprah to promote your book?” Aside from the fact that Oprah is no longer on the air, when it came to authors she usually only called the fictional, the famous or the famously dysfunctional. Which is better than the TV shows that favor the criminal and their relatives. Which is why I love Connie Martinson, who puts authors on television simply because they’ve written interesting books. Here is Part One of our interview about Unreal Estate. I’ll post more later, or you can visit Yourtube to see more … Continue reading

It’s on the (best seller) list

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Unreal Estate came on the Los Angeles Times bestseller list at #13 today. Unreal!

It’s a print thing

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My publisher at Random House ran this ad for Unreal Estate in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times (click–perhaps a few times–to read it). Print lives!

Unreal Estate: Book Soup’s #2 bestseller

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Unreal Estate stormed to the #2 spot on the hardcover nonfiction bestseller list at Book Soup, the great independent bookstore on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, today. It’s also featured in this week’s Montecito Journal, where columnist Richard Mineards calls it “a page-turner.”

Unreal Estate is “a great read.” –New York Social Diary

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Last week at the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills, Luxe Interiors + Design Magazine, the City of Beverly Hills and the Friends of Greystone, one of the starring estates in Unreal Estate, co-hosted a launch party for the book. Today, New York Social Diary’s Nancy Stoddart covers the party and says, “Unreal Estate has it all: movie stars, murders, strippers, pimps, playboys and Mafiosi alongside the founding members of Los Angeles society…The book is a great read for anyone wants to know more about the storied mansions located in the golden triangle of Bel Air, Beverly Hills and Holmby Hills … Continue reading

Unreal in the News

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The Sunday Daily News featured Unreal Estate yesterday in Sherryl Connelly‘s For Your Consideration column, alongside Stephen King and Bill Maher. “Very telling,” she said.

UnBeige. Unreal. Unbelievable.

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“The latest dishy page-turner from Michael Gross,” says Stephanie Murg of the design blog UnBeige, is “a scandal-studded survey of 16 trophy estates in L.A.’s best neighborhoods.” Read our interview here.

“It’s Hollywood Babylon with bathrooms and fireplaces,” says David Lazarus of NPR’s KPCC

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Click here to listen to the interview about Unreal Estate that shocked the little old ladies of Pasadena.

I Want Candy! A “juicy, secret history of L.A.’s wealthiest, glitziest, over-the-top enclaves.”

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In “What To Read While You’re Hibernating,” Daily Candy, touts Unreal Estate. “You know you want to press your nose up against the windows of those fabulous Beverly Hills, Holmby Hills, and Bel Air megamansions,” it says. “Author Michael Gross gets you access with his juicy, secret history of L.A.’s wealthiest, glitziest, over-the-top enclaves. Get behind-the-scenes details of the lurid luminaries of La La Land with an engaging read that starts with the mob history of Beverly Park.”

“Names are named,” says George Christy

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The Beverly Hills Courier’s George Christy adds to his previous praise of Unreal Estate in his latest colum. It’s “a richly readable history, alive with snap-crackle-pop gossip about our local czars and czarinas.”

Bi-Coastal, Bi-Curious

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After spending last week in L.A., I look at life from both coasts now in my Crains New York Business column this week, and even find a reason to quote Neil Diamond.

“Shocking things,” says Conde Nast Traveler

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Conde Nast Traveler’s new Daily Traveler site looks at Unreal Estate today. You can read it here.

GQ calls Unreal Estate a “best new book.”

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GQ.com groups Unreal Estate with Steve Jobs, John Grisham, and John Updike in “The Best New Books of November.” “Michael Gross has been chronicling the real estate habits of the moneyed set for some time; at this point, if anyone’s an expert at it, it’s him,” they say. And Fishbowl LA calls the book “wonderful” in a post on the opening scene featuring Sly Stallone and Suge Knight.

Sour grapes over Unreal Estate?

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Stewart and Lynda Resnick‘s slam of Unreal Estate gets a further airing in The Daily News Gatecrasher column today. The “pomegranate juice magnates…seem to be suffering from a case of sour grapes,” writes Frank DiGiacomo, following up on last week’s Los Angeles Times Culture Monster item on the book. “Although Gross depicts both positive and negative aspects of the Resnicks’ social lives and their incredibly successfull business ventures, the couple apparently is not happy with their portrayal in the book.” UPDATE: Mail Online, the Daily Mail’s web site, has chimed in on the fracas, too.

“A gripping picture of what made Los Angeles what it is today,” says Huffington Post

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“Billionaire brawls and unresolved scandals permeate Beverly Hills, and [Michael] Gross has made it his mission to expose it all,” writes Lucy Blodgett in The Huffington Post. “In Unreal Estate, the New York-born social historian takes on the Western Frontier like a modern day cowboy — seeking, searching and taking no prisoners.”

A “gilded tale of…dreamers and schemers,” says Angeleno

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Angeleno magazine is the latest to chime in on Unreal Estate. “Breezily dishing illuminating dirt on infidelities and bankruptcies, as well as more consequential bonbons,” writes Gary Baum, the book reveals “a century of aspiration, desperation and scandal.” (Turn to page 76 in the above-linked digital edition.) Also, Curbed LA offers its latest bon-bon from the book on the builder of the so-called Beverly Hillbillies mansion and The Real Estalker mines some nuggets of gold about Cher and her estranged interior designer, the late Ron Wilson.

“Fun and juicy,” says Curbed LA

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Curbed Los Angeles is running a series of posts about Unreal Estate this week, “dishing all the dirt on the births of Beverly Hills, Bel Air, and Holmby Hills,” writes editor Adrian Glick Kudler. The first tid-bit is here.

On-Sale Day: Unrealer and Unrealer

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Unreal Estate went on sale today and the web was alive with comment on it. On Whom You Know, blogger Peachy Deegan calls the book “a truly original history of a place that is not known for being historical….pearls up to here with the most scandalous gossip paired with the most ambitious American dreams of California. Oooh we just loved it….an exquisite social history.” There’s also an interview with me there. Los Angeles Magazine posted its monthly required reading list, and included Unreal Estate, for the “sexy and sordid stories [that] fill this survey of L.A.’s wealthiest, most private districts.” … Continue reading

Pub Day Feels Unreal

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Today is publication day of Unreal Estate (at right, on the front table at Crawford Doyle Booksellers), which has already cracked Amazon’s Top 1,000 Books list–but still needs all the help it can get. I hope you’ll read about it here, buy a copy, post and tweet about it, comment on it, and maybe buy another copy. Home Box Office is doing its part, buying the book for a series by Joel Silver, who gave us HBO’s Tales From The Crypt and the Sherlock Holmes, Matrix and Die Hard movies (among many, many others). Why? Because it teems with “murderers, … Continue reading