Noah Cross, Norma Desmond, Norman Bates, Harry Lime—these are a few of nearly 100 names that inhabit the mind of the narrator as he starts to compose short biographies of some of the most famous characters in the history of film noir. He sketches in whole lives, lives as intense as the dreams put up on the screen. The book begins to become a novel when the characters start to meet each other outside their respective films—as if they were real people with needs and passions. The names and faces are familiar to us—Jake Gittes from Chinatown, Laura Hunt and Waldo Lydecker from Laura, Rick and Ilsa from Casablanca—but is it true that Noah Cross and Norma Desmond were lovers in the 1920s, that she and Joe Gillis had a son who grew up to be Julian Kay in American Gigolo? The narrator is not merely the author, he has a mission to carry out—a lost family link to find, a thread to pull so that nearly all these disparate characters come together to form a kind of society. Ultimately this examination on how movies affect audiences—not only shaping perceptions and memories, but in some ways coming to stand in for them—can also be read as an unsettling examination of identity and the construction of self through the medium of narratives; or simply as a fascinating take on movie fandom.
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David Thomson is a prolific writer on film; his books include the controversial biography of Nicole Kidman, biographies of David O. Selznick and Orson Welles, and two books on Hollywood, Beneath Mulholland and The Whole Equation: A History of Hollywood . He lives in San Francisco.Review:
"A dazzling work of narrative invention." —The Village Voice
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Book Description Martin Secker and Warburg Ltd, 1985. Hardcover. Book Condition: Used; Good. stains on top side, **SHIPPED FROM UK** We believe you will be completely satisfied with our quick and reliable service. All orders are dispatched as swiftly as possible! Buy with confidence!. Bookseller Inventory # 2998010
Book Description Secker & Warburg, London, 1985. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: very good. First UK edition. First printing. Purple cloth boards stamped in silver on the spine. Name and address of ownership stamped on the ffe else a clean unmarked copy in a tight binding and unclipped dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 90755
Book Description Secker and Warburg, 1985. Hardback. Book Condition: VERY GOOD. 1985. Secker and Warburg. First UK. Book-VG, extremities rubbed. DJ-VG, edgewear. 9.5x6.5. 273pp. B/W illus frontis. Bookseller Inventory # 427788
Book Description Secker and Warburg. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. 0436520141. Bookseller Inventory # FV-0368169
Book Description Secker & Warburg, 1985. Hardcover. Book Condition: Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Good. Bookseller Inventory # 001425