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Following his critically acclaimed novel The Cutting Room, Laurence Klavan returns with The Shooting Script. Establishing shot: New York City, present day. Zoom in on a run-down tenement building, somewhere west of Times Square, the home of Roy Milano, a thirtyish, divorced typesetter who lives for the movies. In fact, by pursuing the legendary uncut print of Orson Welles’s The Magnificent Ambersons, Roy has become something of a minor celebrity among the fellow misfit film fanatics he caters to in his homemade newsletter, Trivial Man. But there’s nothing trivial when Roy’s old rival Abner Cooley shows up with a check in his hand and the words “Someone is trying to kill me” on his lips.With his mother ailing, Roy needs the money as badly as Cooley needs someone to head off a trigger-happy stalker who’s determined to put both him and his controversial new screenplay into permanent turnaround. And though Roy does his best, like many a private eye before him, he quickly finds his head turned by an enticing distraction. Not a femme fatale, but a flick.Roy is all but powerless to resist an e-mail from a mysterious fan that lures him with the promise of an elusive treasure as fiercely sought after by the celluloid cognoscenti as the Ark of the Covenant was by Indiana Jones. It’s Jerry Lewis' famous unreleased drama, The Day the Clown Cried. But when he arrives at a rendezvous too late to save a dying man, Roy realizes he’s stumbled into a dangerous race to possess a piece of cinema history. To catch up, he’ll have to match wits with a rogues’ gallery: a bored and bitter superstar comedian, a hot-shot producer turned drugged-out has-been, a ferocious German actor who likes to role-play off-camera, a mercurial director with a scary sense of humor, and a hard-bitten cop who’s mad about movies.Meanwhile, Roy will be tempted by the wiles of three fetching females–and tormented by a single-minded psychopath with more faces than Lon Chaney. He’ll even go on location, pursuing and being pursued from the mansions of the Hamptons to the harbors of Maine, the boulevards of L.A. to the canals of Amsterdam. No one’s ever gone to this much trouble just to see a movie. But for Roy, the reward far outweighs the risk. And a chance to glimpse the Big Picture might just be worth coming face-to-face with the Big Sleep.From the Hardcover edition.read more
Considering the subject matter, the sub-text and the whole theme of this book you would think I would have loved it. Roy is a "trivial man", he is an expert in movies especially old movies. Now I also love old movies so this sounded like just the book for me because it combined two of my loves; old movies and mysteries.
Roy is trying to find a movie that was partially completed then abandoned. No one has seen the footage except for the man who was the star, Jerry Lewis. Once Roy starts on his quest for the tape he starts having problems. He is followed, attacked (several times), robbed and almost killed. There are some very weird people involved in this shadowy world of abandoned movies and all of them are against every other person on the same quest. One man is totally ruthless and will kill to get the film.
Now, why didn't I like this book? Well, Roy is a nice enough guy but has no sense of self preservation. After the first attempt to kill him he just keeps on going and looking for the film. It seems like most of the time when I encounter a TSTL (to stupid to live) character it is a female. I might have encounter a male or two before but none that reach the levels of this one. Mugged, robbed, beaten up, having knives and guns pointed at him and he still isn't smart enough to say "enough is enough" and let it go. Obsessed people can be pretty persistent but threat of death normally makes them at least be more cautious. Roy is also terrible at picking his friends and confidants in this one. All in all it just left me with a bad taste in my mouth.
Why did I finish the book? Because there was enough movie trivia and interesting tidbits to keep me reading. However it became almost like watching a train wreck. If you can overcome this TSTL behavior it might be a good book. I couldn't.read more
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A whirlwind of movie trivia whips up Klavan's (The Cutting Room) second hyperactive, hilarious yarn starring Roy Milano, the hardcore film fanatic last seen gleefully pursuing Orson Welles's lost treasure The Magnificent Ambersons. But Roy is now facing desperate times as a walking billboard for the Union Square Farmer's Market to pay for his suddenly mute mother's convalescence. Roy's unrewarding pavement pounding brings him face to face with the ultimate "trivial person success story," arrogant Abner Cooley, who brags he's been commissioned to write a script for the 12-part cult fantasy novel The Seven Ordeals of Quelman. Abner's stroke of fortune has made him a target for fanatic Quelman fans, one of whom is trying to kill him. Abner hires Roy to find his attacker, but Roy is soon sidetracked by the prospect of obtaining a priceless copy of Jerry Lewis's unreleased Nazi drama The Day the Clown Cried . The plot thickens when Roy finds the movie's owner, Ted Savitch, dead of a heart attack-or was it murder? A retired television star, Savitch's daughter, Dena, and a whole gaggle of oddballs sweep Roy from Manhattan to the Hamptons, on to Los Angeles and a bicycle built for two in Amsterdam, and all the while he's dodging bullets and Oscar statuettes in hectic hot pursuit of the elusive stolen videotape. A gratifying ending drops the curtain on this wholly entertaining sequel: a frenzied encore for suspense fans and an edifying indulgence for seasoned film buffs. Agent, Victoria Sanders. (Mar. 1) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved