An epic debut novel about a young man coming to terms with his life in the process and aftermath of making his first film - from critically acclaimed short story writer Owen King - for readers of Joshua Ferris, Sam Lipsyte, and Chad Harbach.
Filmmaker Sam Dolan has a difficult relationship with his father, B-movie actor Booth Dolan - a boisterous, opinionated, lying lothario whose screen legacy falls somewhere between cult hero and pathetic. Allie, Sam's dearly departed mother, was a woman whose only fault, in Sam's eyes, was her eternal affection for his father. Also included in the cast of indelible characters: a precocious, frequently violent half-sister; a conspiracy-theorist second wife; an Internet-famous roommate; a family friend and contractor who can't stop expanding his house; a happy-go-lucky college girlfriend and her husband, a retired Yankees catcher; the morose producer of a true crime show; and a slouching indie film legend. Not to mention a tragic sex monster.
Unraveling the tumultuous, decades-spanning story of the Dolan family's friends, lovers, and adversaries, Double Feature is about letting go of everything - regret, resentment, ambition, dignity, moving pictures, the dead - and taking it again from the top. Combining propulsive storytelling and mordant wit against the backdrop of indie filmmaking, Double Feature brims with a deep understanding of the trials of ambition and art, of relationships and life, and of our attempts to survive it all.
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"King's first novel, about facing reality and failed aspirations, is irreverent and ambitious. Its sweeping scope covers several generations in a humorous and cynical narrative that bounces between decades. Entertaining and thought-provoking, this captivating look at the ongoing process of becoming an adult will especially appeal to fans of the indie film industry" - Booklist
"King's prose is artful, perceptive about people and their "warrens of self that go beyond understanding," and sometimes very funny." - Publishers Weekly
" Fans of John Irving, Tom Perrotta, Jonathan Tropper, and Nick Hornby will appreciate this urban family tale liberally dosed with humor." - Library Journal
"Unique in concept and execution, with much mention of Orson Welles and Dog Day Afternoon, King's novel is winning. Superbly imagined lit-fic about family, fathers and film." - Kirkus
"Sharp, hilarious, and irreverent, Double Feature is not only a love-letter to cinema, but also a moving exploration of what it means to be an artist. This novel is brilliant, and Owen King is a magician." - Lauren Groff, author of The Monsters of Templeton and Arcadia
"Owen King's Double Feature is an ingeniously structured novel about fathers and sons, good art and bad art, success and failure, fight or flight. It manages both to redeem and condemn the overconfidence of youth, and introduces us to a wonderfully, tragically lovable cast of characters. This is terrific book." - Tom Bissell, author of God Lives in St. Petersburg and Magic Hours
"Owen King has a generous heart and a devious mind; there's no other possibility that would explain the ways this novel turns from the beautiful and the true right into the bizarre and hilarious. Tackling the act of creation (parents and children, artists and art), King writes with such assurance that the only option for me, once I finished this epic tale, was to start over and hope to experience it anew." - Kevin Wilson, author of The Family Fang and Tunneling to the Center of the Earth)
"Double Feature is a beautiful, wrenching beginning, and Owen King is a young writer of immense promise." - Larry McMurtry
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Owen King is a graduate of Vassar College and the MFA program at the Columbia University School of the Arts. He is the author of We're All in This Together: A Novella and Stories, as well as the co-editor of Who Can Save Us Now?: Brand New Superheroes and Their Amazing (Short) Stories. His writing has appeared in Fairy Tale Review, One Story, Prairie Schooner, and Subtropics, among other publications. Owen has also taught creative writing at Columbia University and Fordham University and is a working screenwriter with a script in development by the producer of Winter's Bone. He is married to the novelist Kelly Braffet.
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From NYT bestselling author Ann Leary
The captivating story of an unconventional New England family.
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