cover image Double Feature

Double Feature

Owen King. Scribner, $26 (432p) ISBN 978-1-4516-7689-1

This witty debut novel from King, (We’re All in This Together), son of Stephen, is about film and family. Endearing, irascible Sam Dolan is a young filmmaker with a big father problem—that is, his dad, B-movie actor Booth Dolan, has a personality that’s a big problem. But Sam finds even more trouble when his first film, a magnum opus called Who We Are, is mysteriously, and irrevocably, altered in editing. When Sam throws away the only known copy of the altered film, he sets in motion events that will dog him for a decade. His horribly revamped movie turns up in the mid-2000s and becomes a cult hit, as Sam, permanently disappointed, goes from clerking in a Brooklyn video store to working as a wedding videographer. During one long weekend in 2011, Sam comes to terms with his father and his messy life—with the help of a wry and determined producer, Sam’s foul-mouthed kid sister, Mina, and Wesley Latsch, his odd, housebound best friend/roommate. King’s prose is artful, perceptive about people and their “warrens of self that go beyond understanding,” and sometimes very funny. Agent: Amy Williams, McCormack & Williams. (Mar.)