Notable Novels About Hollywood: Background information when reading Middle Men

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Middle Men

Stories

by Jim Gavin

Middle Men by Jim Gavin X
Middle Men by Jim Gavin
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Feb 2013, 240 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2014, 224 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Morgan Macgregor

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book:
Notable Novels About Hollywood

Print Review

In "Illuminati," one of the stories in Jim Gavin's short story collection, college dropout and writer, Sean, describes the experience of selling his first and only script. "Two years ago, all my dumb ideas and tenuous connections came together. I sold a screenplay to a finance company that was developing a project for a pair of comedians…Then nothing happened. The finance company dissolved, the production company lost their studio deal, and so forth. Nothing always happens. The literature of Hollywood is depressingly consistent on this point."

Turns out that's pretty accurate. Though different writers have taken it from different approaches, disparate perspectives and more than one distinct genre, the small but formidable canon of Hollywood novels seem to agree on this point: that the industry, for all its glamour and appeal and mythology, is little more than an exercise in smoke and mirrors. (And alcohol. And drugs.)

The Loved One The Deer Park In the Hollywood novel tradition, perhaps the granddaddies are Nathaniel West's The Day of the Locust, F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Last Tycoon, and Joan Didion's Play It As It Lays. All treat the film industry and celebrity industrial complex with characteristic cynicism and unexpected humor. Somewhat less famous but no less popular are screenwriter Michael Tolkin's The Player, and Darcy O'Brien's A Way of Life, Like Any Other. The prize for the weirdest, darkest portrayal of the Hollywood machine goes to Robert Stone's Children of Light. And this reviewer's personal favorites are Evelyn Waugh's The Loved One, which considers the funeral industry alongside the film industry, and Norman Mailer's The Deer Park, about the Hollywood crowd in Desert D'Or, a fictionalized Palm Springs.

Article by Morgan Macgregor

This article was originally published in February 2013, and has been updated for the February 2014 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access, become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: A Death of No Importance
    A Death of No Importance
    by Mariah Fredericks
    Bringing the reader deep into the intrigue and privilege of the most elite boudoirs, A Death of No ...
  • Book Jacket: The Overstory
    The Overstory
    by Richard Powers
    Many glowing adjectives can be used to describe a novel by Richard Powers: brilliant, moving, ...
  • Book Jacket: American Histories
    American Histories
    by John E. Wideman
    In American Histories, a collection of 21 short stories, John Edgar Wideman draws America's present ...
  • Book Jacket: I Found My Tribe
    I Found My Tribe
    by Ruth Fitzmaurice
    Ruth O'Neill was only 28 when she married film director Simon Fitzmaurice in 2004. Changing her...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner

A love story for things lost and restored, a lyrical hymn to the power of forgiveness.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Girl Who Smiled Beads
    by Clemantine Wamariya & Elizabeth Weil

    A riveting story of survival, and the power of stories to save us.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Leavers

The Leavers by Lisa Ko

One of the most anticipated books of 2017--now in paperback!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T E H N Clothes

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.