Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
5Activity
P. 1
I Should Have Stayed Home by Horace McCoy (Excerpt)

I Should Have Stayed Home by Horace McCoy (Excerpt)

Ratings: (0)|Views: 426|Likes:
Published by OpenRoadMedia

McCoy’s classic, slyly funny novel about a pair of young actors trying to make it in a pitiless Hollywood

For aspiring actor Ralph Carston, all roads lead to Hollywood—but none seem to be direct or easy. The handsome Georgia native immediately finds that his Southern accent is one strike against him, though he manages to eke out a living as an extra alongside his pretty roommate Mona Matthews. But the big break for these two young hopefuls finally arrives in a curious way.

When their third roommate is sentenced to three years in prison for shoplifting, Mona’s emotional courtroom outburst wins her and Ralph notoriety—and entrée into new social circles. Ralph becomes the self-loathing plaything of Ethel Smithers, a wealthy widow who promises much but has no interest in delivering. Mona faces romantic nightmares of her own while also being blacklisted for joining a union. A precursor to Sunset Boulevard, and reminiscent of Nathanael West, I Should Have Stayed Home is a fantastically hardboiled portrait of Tinseltown in the thirties.

McCoy’s classic, slyly funny novel about a pair of young actors trying to make it in a pitiless Hollywood

For aspiring actor Ralph Carston, all roads lead to Hollywood—but none seem to be direct or easy. The handsome Georgia native immediately finds that his Southern accent is one strike against him, though he manages to eke out a living as an extra alongside his pretty roommate Mona Matthews. But the big break for these two young hopefuls finally arrives in a curious way.

When their third roommate is sentenced to three years in prison for shoplifting, Mona’s emotional courtroom outburst wins her and Ralph notoriety—and entrée into new social circles. Ralph becomes the self-loathing plaything of Ethel Smithers, a wealthy widow who promises much but has no interest in delivering. Mona faces romantic nightmares of her own while also being blacklisted for joining a union. A precursor to Sunset Boulevard, and reminiscent of Nathanael West, I Should Have Stayed Home is a fantastically hardboiled portrait of Tinseltown in the thirties.

More info:

Published by: OpenRoadMedia on Jan 16, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

09/29/2013

pdf

text

original

 
 
 
...chapter one
SITTING, SITTING, SITTING: I had been sitting since I came back from thecourtroom, alone and friendless and frightened in the most terrifying town in theworld. Looking out the window at that raggledy palm tree in the middle of the bungalow court, thinking Mona, Mona, Mona, wondering what I was going to dowithout her, that and nothing more: What am I going to do without you? and all of a sudden it was night (there was no purple or pink or mauve), deep, dark night,and I got up and went out to walk, going nowhere in particular, just to walk, to getout of the house where I had lived with Mona and where her smell was stilleverywhere. I had been wanting to get out for hours, but the sun had kept me in. Iwas afraid of the sun, not because it was hot but because of what it might do to mein my mind. Feeling the way I did, alone and friendless, with the future very black,I did not want to get out on the streets and see what the sun had to show me, acheap town filled with cheap stores and cheap people, like the town I had left,identically like any one of ten thousand other small towns in the country—not myHollywood, not the Hollywood you read about. This is what I was afraid of now, Idid not want to take a chance on seeing anything that might have made me wish Ihad stayed home, and this is why I waited for the darkness, for the night-time.That is when Hollywood is really glamorous and mysterious and you are glad youare here, where miracles are happening all around you, where today you are brokeand unknown and tomorrow you are rich and famous...On Vine Street I went north towards Hollywood Boulevard, crossingSunset, passing the drive-in stand where the old Paramount lot used to be, seeingyoung girls and boys in uniform hopping cars, and seeing too, in my mind, theironic smiles on the faces of Wallace Reid and Valentino and all the other old-timestars who used to work on this very spot, and who now looked down, pitying thesegirls and boys for working at jobs in Hollywood they might just as well be
 
working at in Waxahachie or Evanston or Albany; thinking if they were going todo this, there was no point in their coming out here in the first place.The Brown Derby, the sign said, and I crossed the street, not wanting to pass directly in front, hating the place and all the celebrities in it (only becausethey were celebrities, something I was not), hating the people standing in front,waiting with autograph books, thinking: You’ll be fighting for my autograph oneof these days, missing Mona terribly now, more than I had all afternoon, because passing this place that was full of stars made me more than ever want to be a star myself and made me more than ever aware of how impossible this was alone,without her help.I am alone because of Dorothy, I thought. This is all the fault of thatshoplifter. This is all Dorothy’s fault. I should have grabbed Mona when she jumped up in the courtroom. I should have known from the look on her face whatwas going to happen.Mona and I had gone down to the court to let Dorothy have moral support.She had come out to Hollywood to crash the movies too, but she had crashed adepartment store instead and had systematically stolen a lot of stuff. We knew shewouldn’t get off absolutely free, but we thought the judge wouldn’t give her morethan ninety days, six months at the outside. But the judge sentenced her to thewomen’s prison at Tehachapi for three years and no sooner were the words out of his mouth than Mona was on her feet yelling that he was a fine son of a bitch to besitting up there dishing out justice and why didn’t he hang her and be done with it?I was so astonished I couldn’t do anything but sit there with my mouth open. The judge had Mona brought before him, telling her he was going to sentence her to jail for thirty days if she didn’t apologize. What she told him to take for himself caused him to give her sixty days instead of thirty.Later, when court was over, I went to the judge and begged him to let Monago, but I didn’t have any luck.

Activity (5)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
1 thousand reads
1 hundred reads
OpenRoadMedia liked this
OpenRoadMedia liked this

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd