This latest effort by the author of the seminal The Making of the Counterculture is a quirky, sexy, sprawling novel that comprises, among other things, a magical mystery tour of the history of cinema, an acid satire on Hollywood and what passes for today's cultural avant-garde, a metaphysical puzzle, an exploration of the psychological impact of films and a parable about the modern spiritual wasteland. UCLA film scholar and critic Jonathan Gates becomes obsessed with legendary German expressionist filmmaker Max Castle, who went to Hollywood in the mid-1920s and whose vampire and ghoul B-movies are viewed by cult fans as deeply troubling evocations of evil. On the trail of Castle's dark past, Gates and his ex-girlfriend, tough-minded film critic Clare Swann, encounter medieval gnostic heresies, secret societies, a teenage genius albino movie producer and an aged Dutch ex-vamp who practices tantric-like sex. Crammed with film lore that will regale cinema buffs, the narrative segues from its realistic beginning into a bizarre, apocalyptic fantasy that eventually spins off the reel, illuminating in the end only a very private, muddled vision. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1991 Release date: 05/01/1991 Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 592 pages - 978-0-553-29792-8
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.