Eleanor Bergstein, Author
Eleanor Bergstein, Author Random House (NY) $17.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-394-55306-1
Reviewed on: 06/01/1989
Release date: 06/01/1989
The author of Advancing Paul Newman and several screenplays, including Dirty Dancing , has with her second novel captured the world of movie-making as seen through the eyes of a 33-year-old playwright. Blocked and drained by a series of devastating personal losses, Jesse has taken a magazine assignment to write about a New York movie on location. She is soon swept up in the pulse and crazy energy of production, and her narrative races along with witty and precise observations of the cast of characters and the reality/unreality of filmmaking. An adulterous affair with the young director of photography moves Jesse into intimate connections with the crew and cast, including the movie's star, whom Jessie has always resembled. (The affair is secret, but affects deeply Jessie's perceptions.) Then there is a shocking murder. Jessie's suspense-filled narrative unspools the rest of the story. Bergstein's writing is deft, controlled and perfectly matched to her narrator's tone. Not since Terry Southern's savagely funny Blue Movie , which this novel resembles in several ways, has any writer made such extravagant good use of the rich material of a film production. This is a striking story about life and death, good and evil, sanity and insanity. And Bergstein has the good judgment to aim just high enough that it all works. (June)
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