I'm Losing You and

STILL HOLDING

Bruce Wagner, Author . Simon & Schuster $25 (368p) ISBN 978-0-7432-4337-7

Alternately brilliant and cluttered, this baroque third volume of Wagner's loose Hollywood trilogy (following the much-praised I'm Losing You and I'll Let You Go ), moves along in fits and starts, crammed with celebrity cameos and sharp social commentary. The fable follows the workaday, neurotically self-absorbed lives of wannabe actress Becca, who hires out for trade shows as a Drew Barrymore look-alike, and Lisanne, a pathetically overweight secretary who, because of her morbid fear of flying, takes the Amtrak back home to Albany, arriving minutes too late to say good-bye to her dying father. These two women find their lives inexorably shaped by the karma of 34-year-old movie icon Kit Lightfoot (People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive"), a Buddhist who has meditated every day for almost 13 years. Lisanne returns to L.A. pregnant after a one-night stand with her high school flame. Slowly withdrawing deeper into neurosis, she becomes obsessed with Buddhism after her boss sends her to deliver a mandala to Kit. Suffering a severely debilitating brain injury when a disgruntled autograph hunter hits him in the head with a bottle, rich Kit is, poetically, nursed back to health by his grasping father. Ambitious Becca is hired as a cameo corpse on HBO's Six Feet Under and winds up girl Friday to TV sitcom queen Viv, Kit's fiancé, who is shacking up with Kit's best pal. The irony verges on the farcical as Kit struggles to get his life back and the identity of his attacker is revealed. Though Wagner packs his twists too tight, leaving the reader gasping for air, this convoluted chiaroscuro offers probing insights into the human condition. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 11/03/2003
Release date: 11/01/2003
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FORMATS
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-7432-4338-4
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-4391-2967-8
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