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FICTION : HOLLYWOOD HUSBANDS by Jackie Collins (Simon & Schuster: $18.95; 543 pp.).

December 28, 1986|Tom Nolan

"Was that what attracted him to Clarissa? Her aloofness? . . . Or did he just like being with her because she was an Oscar-winning actress and not some Hollywood bimbette?" Such are the questions pondered by the rogue males in this raunchy prowl through the corridors of Hollywood power. Among the players: talk-show host Jack Python, sort of a cross between Mike Wallace and Warren Beatty; Mannon Cable, rugged movie star married to a beauty queen but still carrying a torch for his actress ex ("He didn't know what it was about Melanie-Shanna . . . she just aggravated the hell out of him. Maybe it was because she was his wife and Whitney wasn't"); and Jade Johnson, top commercials model, on the rebound from an English cad ("No more Jade Johnson, mistress. Oh, no, sirree. That trip was over, finito "). Other characters include a producer named Orville Gooseberger (" 'You've been to one screening at the Gooseberger house, you've been to 'em all' ") and lowlife hustler Wes Money, whose principal talent is pleasing the ladies ("Sober or drunk, he could still make 'em sing Streisand"). Collins, not without a certain hasty humor, propels these unattractive cutouts through a high-gloss world where mirrors "abound" and sheets "await" and women think such thoughts as: "He was rough and crude, but, God, he was exciting!" Backward reels the mind.

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