Prolific Westlake displays yet again the originality that won him an Edgar Award for God Save the Mark and praise for books ranging from deadly thrillers through boffo comics. This novel is organized as a series of film flashbacks and forwards, with movie star Jack Pine speaking to an interviewer, Michael O'Connor. Stoned on drugs, Pine describes how his lifelong friend, Buddy Pal, helped him rise from lean beginnings to the top in Hollywood. A foreboding air pervades the recital of Pine's shameful past; though a habitual user of people, he remains unaware that Pal is using him. Sensing the character's moral rot, the reader is nevertheless seduced by the secrets spilling from Pine's unguarded tongue. Even with prescience, we are floored by the author's ingenious revelation of what happened and by the ultimate impact of O'Connor's role as a interviewer. (May)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989 Release date: 01/01/1989 Genre: Fiction
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