Books: Hazards of the Midas Touch the Great Getty by Robert Lenzne

by Robert Lenzner; Crown; 283 pages; $18.95 THE HOUSE OF GETTY by Russell Miller; Holt; 362 pages; $17.95

If the good was interred with Jean Paul Getty's bones, the authors of these two biographies have not found it. Neither have they discovered anything that could be called evil. Getty, who died in 1976 at age 83, simply emerges as a supremely selfish man and a consummate bottom-liner who subjected all his passions to cost analysis. In order of importance, his preoccupations were the oil business, sex, and bargain hunting for art. He even looked the part: a Scrooge-like figure with a lecherous gaze living in an underheated English manor house that contained a public pay phone in the hall.


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