New Update!

Hello everyone. All of my Reviews, that I have yet to write, will be posted sporadically during the summer. After the end of this summer, I will not be posting on here anymore, as you will see the info on the right side of the blog.
Thanks for your understanding.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Holden Age Of Hollywood By: Phil Brody *Spot Light & Giveaway*


Blurb

“Hollywood died on me as soon as I got here. Welles said that, not me, but damn if he didn’t nail it, you know?”

Sam Bateman came to Hollywood to settle a score, but amidst the sunny and 75, his plans went astray. Everything changed the day he drank in the intoxicating legend of Meyer Holden, the greatest screenwriter Hollywood has ever known, the one who pulled a Salinger and walked away. Holden now tacks pseudonyms onto his works and buries them in the bottomless sea of spec that is Hollywood’s development process. They’re out there for anyone to find—but at what cost? In his quest, Bateman severs all ties and sinks into a maddening world of bad writing and flawed screenplays. Paranoid and obsessive, the belligerent savant encounters an eccentric cast of characters—each with an agenda—in his search for the one writer in Hollywood who does not want to be found.

Phil Brody’s The Holden Age of Hollywood is at once a detective novel, an unexpected love story, and a provocative exposé of a broken industry. With dark humor and incisive commentary, the novel immerses readers in a neo-noir quest to attain the Hollywood dream, integrity intact.

Reviews have been rolling in and here's what the critics have to say:

The Holden Age of Hollywood by Phil Brody delivers the premise and promise of its title. It is an original, rollicking, picaresque novel that would make J.D. Salinger proud.”
Stan Corwin, former publisher/CEO of Pinnacle Books, author of Betty Page Confidential and Oxy-Morons I Have Known
“Brody’s debut novel has an ambitious agenda. It’s a coming-of-age novel, a mystery, a love story, and a stinging, knowing send-up of the movie biz. Brody melds these disparate elements with energy, wit, snarky insider dialogue, and a clipped, telegraphic narrative style. . . The Holden Age of Hollywood is fine entertainment."
~
 Thomas Gaughan, Booklist (May 1, 2012)
“As the sun came up today, I turned the last page of Phil Brody’s The Holden Age of Hollywood. That’s because I couldn’t put it down. I can rarely make time for novels, but this one had me rifling through pages with constant anticipation. The back drop of this story is the same backdrop I live and work in. Hollywood. With all its fast-talkers, posers, and users, Brody weaves a tale through all the madness that is Hollywood with a voice of reason, integrity, and hilarious sarcasm. . . I have rarely been this entertained, while being informed, all from reading the same book."
Doug Jones, Actor, Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy I and II, Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer
“If anyone knows Hollywood, author Phil Brody knows Hollywood. The Holden Age of Hollywood is a cynical and witty look at the real town . . . exposing the often underappreciated business of screenwriting, all while unfolding an unexpected love story. . . .”
Jessica Druck, The Five-Stir
“Readers will enjoy watching a fascinating Bateman get sucked into the Hollywood drama machine. Filled with a quirky cast working humorous scenes, this is a fascinating character study as Bateman goes the extraordinary extra kilometer to find a Holden screenplay.”~ Harriet Klausner, Genre Go Round Reviews  (June 18, 2012) 


Excerpt
(From Chapter 1: Doing Time)

I escape to the patio, perch myself at the bar, where the bartenders can’t pour the Red Bull or the Kettle One fast enough. I watch them work, mesmerized by the stampede for this overhyped mixture of depressant and upper. I know no one uses terms like that anymore— depressant, upper. Call me old-fashioned. Actually, call me well-rounded. Helps me do my job and deal with the reason I’m doing time in this town. Drink to that.

“Another gin and tonic?”

I nod once to my best friend at this party, my only friend in this fucking town—the bartender. Not this bartender per se. Every bartender. They mix a cure for what ails me. Sure, it’s a momentary cure, but those are some of my happiest moments. Way it is.

Too many people. Too loud. Attitudes starting to asphyxiate. I stare at the sea of lights, the view from the Hills of this coldfuckcold city that’s 75 degrees every day. It’s an endless four- story grid of isolated, lock-the-door-behind-you lives, where everyone is either so wrapped up in creating their own success story or so damaged from their failure that resentment for one another is all we have in common.

Lights everywhere twinkle, look so inviting, but it’s a trick. I know it.


Sneak Peak Inside The Novel 

BLAH

"If you’re looking for motivation in all this, here it is. Decided to move to Los Angeles fifteen days after I buried my father, seven days after I discovered a drawer filled with his writing— six screenplays, eleven short films, one play, a few short stories, and one unfinished book abandoned after less than four chap- ters. He worked in advertising as a copywriter, but I never knew he wrote like that.

“I read his entire body of work in two days.

“My dad was the only family I ever really had, besides our dog Kirby. We moved to San Francisco from Minneapolis when I was seven, and he raised me on his own. Worked his ass off to provide. Makes me wonder when he ever found the time to write anything, much less a drawer full of stuff.

“He was a really good writer. Pretty certain no one’s aware of that but me. A stack of rejection letters postmarked Holly- wood, California, led me to that assumption. Highly doubt my father tossed letters of affirmation.

“No one paid him to write, but he did. He did it all on spec, obviously hoping someone would like what he wrote and buy it or pay him to write something else. Neither happened for my dad.

“I should have been content to read his words, which re- vealed a side of him I never knew. Story should have ended there. However, something in the rejection letters didn’t add up. Within those letters, I discovered the lie.

“Buried at the bottom of the drawer, I read the rejection letters last, found many discrepancies within. A lot of them were vague, mere form letters. It was the others that turned my con- tentment vile. The ones claiming they’d read the submission, when clearly they hadn’t. They called his political farce a roman- tic comedy and his drama a dramedy because of their deceptive titles. I saw the discrepancies, wondered if he ever noticed.

“Sitting amidst my father’s words, I was confused, irri- tated. Gin took the edge off, mixed with fatigue, and I gave in to slumber around three a.m.

“Kirby’s panicked panting woke me about an hour later.

“The day before I discovered the drawer, six days after my dad’s funeral, Kirby fell sick. He stopped eating and began to wax and wane. Throughout the day, his lethargic mood far outweighed the moments he found the strength to move.

“I forced my tired bones out of bed and moved to comfort him. In the dark, I reached to pet him, missed his head, and my hand dipped into something wet. I thought he might be bleed- ing, but after turning on the light, I discovered Kirby, unable to rise from the bed, had defecated in it.

“I’ll never forget his eyes, the shame and weariness in them. They told me what I already knew—he was dying. Nothing I could do.

“I picked him up, carried him out to the back of the house so I could clean him off with the garden hose. As I washed his fur, he panted, licking me whenever my skin was anywhere near his snout. I dried him off, carried him back into the house, wrapped him in my father’s comforter, and laid him on the couch.

“He sniffed around the bedding, searching in vain for his best friend. When he looked up at me, confused and weary, all I could do was tell him, ‘I miss him too.’

“The vet arrived two hours after I telephoned. He was one who specialized in housecalls to see if your pet is merely ill or needs to be put to sleep. He examined Kirby about thirty seconds before he said, ‘It’s time.’

“Two shots later, Kirby was gone. “It was too much. I lost it. Broke down. Lamented all day. 

“Decided to move to Los Angeles the following morning. 

“Closed up shop, pronto. Hired a Realtor, put my dad’s
house up for sale. Broke the lease on my apartment. Sold everything. Everything. I had nothing. What I did take fit into my Explorer.

“Started driving toward a clear destination, uncertain where I was headed . . .

“Hey, don’t look at me like that. You asked.” 
**************************

FOSTER FILMS, LLC 
Sunset Gower Studios / 1438 N. Gower Street / Hollywood, CA 90028

August 19, 1992

Dear Henry Bateman,

Let me take this opportunity to thank you for send- ing me a copy of your romantic comedy screenplay titled Chase the Girl.

After careful consideration, I feel your work is not quite right for Foster Films.

Please realize the movie business is a subjective one. Foster Films wishes you the best of luck finding placement for your work. Thank you again for the opportunity to read your script.

Sincerely,

Jon Foster


Doing Time (1)
What are you in for?” 
Fourth time tonight I’m asked this question. It’s the city’s trendy new way of inquiring, “What do you do?”

“Actor.” Fourth different answer I’ve given tonight.

I’m in the Hills at an industry party hosted by a guy I despise. House is way too crowded, music’s way too loud. Everyone here thinks their shit not only doesn’t stink but might make a good movie. Welcome to LA.

Guy I despise is Justin Lackey, an A-list prick I work with in Development. In case your only movie experience comes in between the tearing of your ten-dollar ticket and the pissing away of six-dollar Coca-Colas, development is the process of finding, acquiring, polishing, and packaging the scripts that ultimately help fill said multiplex near you.

Lackey and I work for Jon Foster, a dinosaur in Hollywood whose last real days in the sun occurred in the late seventies. His initial success made him relevant for almost thirty years, but it’s painfully obvious his days as a player in the industry are numbered. So what are we doing working for the near extinct? Biding time before we make our own moves in the game of chess that is Hollywood. That’s fundamentally why we hate each other. When you’re swimming with the sharks, you don’t make friends. You wait for the smell of blood. Then you feast.

Shark tank of a party is wearing on me. Current con- versation grates. Told I’ll never be a successful actor in this town because my look is way too Kinkoed. The comment shouldn’t bother me, but the chick who said it irks me, so I ask, “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Your look. It’s too off-the-rack.”

Speak LA, as I do now after more than a year in this wretched hive, and you’d realize this means too many actors look like me. This might resonate if I wanted to be an actor. I don’t. It would also mean something if I even remotely wanted to bang this girl. I don’t. She looks too Starbucked for my taste—all bitter and burned out. I like them on the chaste side. Hard to find in this town, but I aspire.

I escape to the patio, perch myself at the bar, where the bartenders can’t pour the Red Bull or the Kettle One fast enough. I watch them work, mesmerized by the stampede for this overhyped mixture of depressant and upper. I know no one uses terms like that anymore—depressant, upper. Call me old-fashioned. Actually, call me well-rounded. Helps me do my job and deal with the reason I’m doing time in this town. Drink to that.

“Another gin and tonic?”

I nod once to my best friend at this party, my only friend in this fucking town—the bartender. Not this bar- tender per se. Every bartender. They mix a cure for what ails me. Sure, it’s a momentary cure, but those are some of my happiest moments. Way it is.

Too many people. Too loud. Attitudes starting to asphyxiate. I stare at the sea of lights, the view from the Hills of this coldfuckcold city that’s 75 degrees every day. It’s an endless four-story grid of isolated, lock-the-door-behind- you lives, where everyone is either so wrapped up in creating their own success story or so damaged from their failure that resentment for one another is all we have in common.

Lights everywhere twinkle, look so inviting, but it’s a trick. I know it.

The drug I’m sipping starts to work its magic, and my thoughts are set adrift. I ponder whether the decision I’ve been mulling the last few weeks, the journey I believe I’m about to embark upon, is my destiny or my density. Destiny. Density. Amazing how those words are so close. Just a matter of how the letters fall.

Thoughts get derailed when someone enters the picture. This tall, slender, smoking hot gotta-be-an-actress with stellar gams and straight black hair that almost meets her I-swear-sometimes-God-is-an-artist perfect ass. Love her right off the bat. Trust me, you would too.

She saunters my way. Truth told, she merely enters the crime scene that’s unfolding around me. She approaches the bar where my ass has been suffocating this barstool for the last hour, while leaving incriminating fingerprints on many a glass. She busts me. I introduce myself and we shake hands. Touch of her skin confirms a smoldering attraction. The smile in her chestnut eyes ignites it.

Her name is Share. Just Share. I’m not making this up. She even spells it for me. Also confirm she’s indeed an actress as I help her and her friend, who’s incessantly scanning the crowd, obtain drinks. Share and I cheers, dance together with words.

“You know Justin?” she inquires. 

“I work with that son of a bitch. You?” 

She grins. “He is a son of a bitch.” 

“What kind of name is Share?” 

“The kind I was given.” 

“Come on. Unless you were born here, there’s no way.” 

She laughs, but I can tell she’s pissed. 

“Where you from? What’s your real name?” 

“Thanks for the drink,” she says as she disregards me. 

“That’s it? All I get?” 

“Do I owe you something?” 

“No, Share,” I say with sarcastic emphasis on her given
name, “you don’t owe me anything, for the drink or the chat. Both are overpriced anyway.”

“Drinks are free. No one’s paying tonight.”

“You can believe that, but you’re wrong. Nothing’s free here. Ever.”

She stares at me, pontificates, “You’re not the kind of guy who’s afraid to merge in LA, are you?”

Makes me laugh but also have to ask, “What are you talking about?”

Should’ve played the game, should have said, “Do you know who I am?” I’m nobody, but no one knows that and therein lies the secret to Coldfuckcold, California.

Share turns to her chubby, UGG-wearing friend who’s not listening and says, “See?”

Her tone makes me hate her. Trust me, you’d hate her too. “See what?” 

“You’ll never be on the list.”

 “What list?” 

“Any list.” 
I seethe. Take a swig of Hindsight mixed with 20/20
and lean in, making sure she can hear me. “Yeah? Well, Ass Eyes, you’ll be making porn inside of a year. And not that glossy Vivid Video stuff either. It’s gonna be fetish flicks and bukkake videos for you until the day you die a lonesome and disease-laden death.”

“Did you just call me Ass Eyes?” 

“Yeah.” 

“What the fuck is that?”

 “Let me clarify. Your eyes. They look like shitty, brown
assholes. Two of ’em. That’s what the fuck that is. Now you can hurry back to the parade of delusion where, like every- one else, you’re obviously somebody important.”

She laughs. We talk another thirty minutes. She stares at my lips the entire time, which I hope you know is a good sign. 

As her UGG-wearing friend finally pulls her away in search of a better vantage point, I garner her digits. All ten. 

Watching her out-of-my-league ass sway bye-bye, I can
only smile. 

Welcome to LA. My lot in life. 
************************

Author Bio
Phil Brody lives in Los Angeles and writes every day. He began his career in Chicago in advertising. After moving to LA, Brody toiled in development, penned a few spec scripts, and has worked as a writer, producer, and director in documentary TV. His short film, A Blue Christmas, was the grand prize winner in The Short Film Group’s First Annual Script Competition and was acknowledged in the WorldFest-Houston and Cleveland International Film Festivals. Brody is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio and an alumnus of Writers Boot Camp in Santa Monica, California. The Holden Age of Hollywood is his first novel.
He can be reached at emailphilbrody@gmail.com





Next Tour Stops

8/24 Just Me,Myself,and I  Spot Light  
8/24 For The Love Of Film And Novels Spot Light and Giveaway 
8/27   My Devotional Thoughts  Spot Light, Review, and Giveaway  
8/28  White Sky Project  Spot Light 
8/28   Night Owl Reads  Spot Light and Giveaway 
8/29  Janiera Eldridge  Spot Light and Giveaway 
8/29 Books and Beauty Spot Light and Giveaway  
8/29  My Chaotic Ramblings Interview and spot light
8/30   The Bunny's Review  Spot Light, Interview, and Giveaway 
8/31   ¡Miraculous!   Review and Giveaway   
8/31   Window on the World   Review and Interview  
9/3  Dahl's Doll  Spot Light and Giveaway
9/3 The Self-Taught Cook   Review
9/4  I am, Indeed Spot Light, guest post, and Giveaway 
9/6 Full Moon Bites Spot Light, Interview, and Giveaway 
9/6 House Millar Spot Light, Interview, and Giveaway 
9/7 Jenn's Review Blog  Spot Light and Guest post



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