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
  • 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!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Force
    The Force
    by Don Winslow
    Intense! That's the word. Winslow's The Force rips through its four hundred pages with the...
  • Book Jacket: Shadow Man
    Shadow Man
    by Alan Drew
    Alan Drew's debut novel, Gardens of Water, was an ambitious work of literary fiction set amid ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Noise of Time
    by Julian Barnes
    Confession: I do two terrible – some say unforgivable – things while reading a book. First...

Win this book!
Win The Library of Light and Shadow

The Library of Light and Shadow by M.J. Rose

"Possibly her best yet. A sensuous, sumptuous, and spellbinding novel." - Kirkus Reviews

Enter

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Almost Sisters
    by Joshilyn Jackson

    A powerful, emotionally resonant novel of the South.
    Reader Reviews

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T H Are B T O

and be entered to win..

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
June by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

A novel of suspense and passion about a terrible mistake that changed a family forever.

About the book
Join the discussion!

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.