The Silver Face

Wright, Edward

Published by Orion
ISBN 10: 0752852922 / ISBN 13: 9780752852928
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Synopsis: John Ray Horn knows all about loss--and regret. He was once Sierra Lane, hero to countless youngsters in a series of cheap westerns. Now, after a spell in prison, he lives on the margins of 1940s Los Angeles. Blacklisted by the studios, he makes ends meet by collecting debts for his old Indian co-star, Joseph Mad Crow. One rain-soaked LA evening, a chance encounter brings Horn into contact with an old flame. Rose Galen played the female lead in his second movie. Young, beautiful, supremely talented, she had a shining quality to her. Now Rose is a shattered creature, drink-sodden and heavy with sadness. Something happened to her years ago, before Horn first knew her, something so terrible that it would eventually leave her broken. Hoping to uncover her long-held secret, Horn goes to visit Rose at her shabby rooming house. He discovers her strangled body. Aware of a debt to her that he never fully acknowledged, he sets out with the aid of Mad Crow to find her killer. His search takes him back into the Hollywood of the 1920s, to the Jazz Age, the era of the silent film, and a wild party attended by both movie celebrities and racketeers. On that night, a terrible act left a young woman dead and several people guarding a secret that would only begin to unravel after Rose Galen took her last tortured breath.

From the Author: JOHN RAY HORN'S LOS ANGELES

John Ray Horn, the character I've developed over the course of three novels, is an ex-cowboy actor who must deal with matters of life and death against the backdrop of Los Angeles in the 1940s. Several things drew me to him and his locale:

As a youngster growing up in Arkansas, I went to the Saturday afternoon matinees and was thrilled by the simple, unsophisticated heroism of the cowboy movies. Today I'm intrigued by the idea of a man who once portrayed a hero on the screen but who is now an outcast and is forced to compare himself every day with his old image.

Although I've chosen to live in the City of Angels, I'm sometimes overwhelmed by its size and pace. I look back with affection at the Los Angeles I never knew -- the young city with few tall buildings, its wide-open spaces occupied only by citrus and nut groves and bean fields, a city only dimly aware of its coming greatness.

Part of this nostalgia, of course, is fed by Hollywood itself. Many old black-and-white B-movies -- made by studios that couldn't afford expensive sets -- contain scenes shot on the streets of the real Los Angeles. Look at that city, with its great open stretches, streets running alongside endless rows of fruit trees, and you'll know that L.A. will never again look so young and raw or have so much room to breathe.

Then there's the artificial L.A., also served up by the movies. Anyone who's watched Howard Hawks' The Big Sleep, with that scene of the cottage up in Laurel Canyon and a torrential rain drenching Bogart, his car, and his trench coat, might be forgiven for thinking that it rains a lot in L.A. I thought so -- until I moved here. But this interplay between myth and reality is part of what's compelling about this town. And somewhere near that intersection, I've tried to create my own L.A., with sunshine and shadow, lemon groves and road houses, hustlers and decent people, attempts at human contact amid loneliness.

Most of my characters are fictitious. But in "The Silver Face" (published in the U.S. as "While I Disappear"), the character of Rose is based partly on Louise Brooks, the iconic silent screen actress whose career flamed out early after a few landmark films and whose later years were spent largely in obscurity. As in this novel, her final film role, in the 1930s, was in a forgettable B-movie western. Rose played opposite John Ray Horn. Louise Brooks' co-star was the very young John Wayne.

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Silver Face
Publisher: Orion
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Good

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Book Description -. Paperback. Condition: Very Good. The Silver Face This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See all our books here, order more than 1 book and get discounted shipping. Seller Inventory # 7719-9780752852928

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