American Dream Machine

Matthew Specktor. Tin House (PGW, dist.), $25.95 (464p) ISBN 9781935639442
At the center of Specktor’s conventional second novel (after That Summertime Sound) is Beau Rosenwald, a Jewish boy from New York who lands in Los Angeles in the 1960s with nothing and uses his improbable charisma to become a powerful Hollywood agent. Narrated by his son Nate, the novel alternates between Beau’s successes and failures with his talent agency, American Dream Machine, and his son’s attempts during the 1990s and 2000s to find purpose. Nate and his half-brother Severin grow up in the Hollywood miasma and struggle to escape from their father’s shadow, in the process falling into drugs and hedonism. Meanwhile, Beau’s blusterous personality leads to a feud with his conflicted business partner, Williams Farquarsen III, who nurses a destructive secret, and as time goes on, Beau becomes increasingly isolated from the Hollywood of a new generation. The mostly familiar plot meanders with few surprises, but the book is nonetheless filled with aperçus of the cynical and vulgar world of Hollywood executives. While Specktor (That Summertime Sound), a film executive and the founding editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books, does not quite achieve an epic tone, his novel of the seedy guardians of the mythic American dream succeeds in showing just how unpleasant the film industry can be. Agent: Marc Gerald, The Agency Group. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/11/2013
Release date: 03/01/2013
Show other formats
FORMATS
Paperback - 482 pages - 978-1-935639-80-0
Hardcover - 384 pages - 978-1-4055-2465-0
Hardcover - 464 pages - 978-0-7515-5161-7
Paperback - 464 pages - 978-0-7515-5162-4
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.