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California Screaming: A Novel

Guinan, Doug

ISBN 10: 0684849364 / ISBN 13: 9780684849362
Published by Simon & Schuster, 1998
Used Condition: Fine Hardcover
From SYLVESTER & ORPHANOS (SAN MARCOS, CA, U.S.A.)

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0684849364 Dj blurbs by Brad Gooch, Stephen McCauley, etc. Bookseller Inventory # 000254

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Bibliographic Details

Title: California Screaming: A Novel

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

Making it big in Los Angeles can mean a lot of things. For Kevin Malloy-- one of West Hollywood's most gorgeous young men-- it means landing the biggest catch of all among the city's many eligible gay bachelors. For media mogul Brad Sherwood, the most eligible of them all, it means having everything-- power, wealth, success, good hair plugs, and yes, even love. And so, on a smog-free Christmas morn, Brad, seeking better cell phone reception, finds himself in a deserted parking lot on Sunset Boulevard. It is here that he meets Kevin, who, despite his youth, his fabulous face, great hair, buffed bod, and modest but impeccable wardrobe, knows that there's got to be more to life than what he's found so far as an only vaguely successful photographer with a decided lack of direction. In "California Screaming", what follows this initial meeting of Brad and Kevin, a perfect synergy of money and beauty, is a relationship that takes them to new heights, leaving only the most cynical and bitter of wags about town to ask the question: how can such a perfect love be so pure... and agenda-less? That it's not, of course, is a truth known only to a privileged few of Hollywood's best positioned insiders. Only they know that Brad Sherwood's media empire is under attack from all sides. Only they know what Kevin has done so far to survive, and even fewer of them know why he escaped from New York to LA in the first place, and why he can never, ever go back. But then, who among them would talk? Surely not Leon, Kevin's old roommate, left behind in West Hollywood. Not Brad's best friend Rob, a former skating star who now produces ice extravaganzas. But what about Kim, the Australian personal trainer desperately seeking the American dream? Or perhaps Shane, the innocent young flight attendant seeking self-esteem through steroids and very special plastic surgery? The game they play, of course, is one of all or nothing. Brad's empire may be a house of cards held together by sound bites, but he still controls the deck. And so long as Kevin can keep the real reason he left New York from getting out, everyone's illusions can continue. For why shouldn't they, since illusions are all that matter anyway? And life in LA, when it's not a dream, can turn into a real nightmare. Fresh and fun, but poignant as well; sexy, sardonic, and unerringly on target, this tale of love and intrigue among Hollywood's gay elite sparkles with wit and delicious fun. Ruthlessly skewering America's true hometown, while joyfully celebrating its glamour and genuine joie de vivre, "California Screaming" is a must for anyone looking for a primer for survival in the new, respectable Hollywood.

Review:

Hollywood has long been a target of satirical fiction, from Budd Schulberg's What Makes Sammy Run? and John O'Hara's The Big Laugh to Michael Tolkin's The Player and Dennis Hensley's Misadventures in the (213). All that ego, glitz, and enormous lack of talent is just too deliciously bad to go unpunished. Doug Guinan's California Screaming is a nonstop cavalcade of comic invention and gentle invective that sends up Tinseltown, movies, male beauty, outing, body culture, social climbing, conniving, and the closet. With a plot that throws All About Eve and "Apartment 3G" into a blender with ingredients from a Feydeau farce, Guinan manages to hit most of his targets with deadly accuracy and even allows his characters some tender moments along the way. Never afraid to go over the top and always knowing when to stop, California Screaming is a perfect pop cultural artifact; like the most exquisite example of camp, it suggests the innate worth of the absurdities and excesses of contemporary life even as it wickedly ridicules them. --Michael Bronski

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