What Happened Was This

Josh Greenfeld, Author Carroll & Graf Publishers $18.95 (312p) ISBN 978-0-88184-639-3
Greenfeld's ( A Child Called Noah ) sexy, street-smart, ruefully funny moral fable centers on successful Hollywood film director Lester Roe, whose path to Tinseltown wended through Brooklyn College, the Catskills Borscht Beltper WIT and Off-Broadway theater. Les keeps telling himself he's not an artistic sellout, but he's a master of self-deception. Decades before, accused of being a ``Communist front sympathizer'' because he attended left-liberal hootenannies, he saved his own neck by secretly ratting on his friend Myron Feldstein, whose budding career as singer/TV show host was therefore destroyed. Their mutual friend, a bookmaker named Chicago who wooed classy Vivian Dans away from Lee and Myron, also figured in this betrayal. Out of touch for years, the three friends meet for a great reckoning. Les's impenetrable armor of rationalizations reduces his appeal, but Greenfeld's dialogue, pacing and period detail animate this bittersweet story. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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