The Mighty Franks by Michael Frank review – a glorious tale of Hollywood dysfunction

This post is by Philip Hoare from Books | The Guardian

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A bitterly amusing memoir of growing up as part of an unusual family, under the influence of a despotic aunt

We all long for drama in our private lives, as if to make sense of the chaos into which we are plunged at birth. But only in looking back is a pattern perceived, the narrative ordered. “Perspective does not come to us while we are living life,” Michael Frank’s mother tells her son. Frank, now a successful writer and critic, begins his story as a somewhat precocious schoolboy growing up in 1970s Los Angeles, with an inordinate love of art and eavesdropping. He is the scion of an extraordinary coalition. The “Mighty Franks” are an overachieving, stylish clan of Jewish émigrés from Europe – their two halves united by dint of a brother and sister marrying a sister and a brother – who occupy neighbouring homes in Laurel Canyon, LA. ...