Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Still Holding

Still Holding
a novel by Bruce Wagner

There's something refreshingly unforgiving in Bruce Wagner's lacerating Hollywood satire; those readers who've had a love/hate relationship with the movie business, an attraction-repulsion dynamic that loves movies themselves and yet is sickened by the business culture that makes it possible, will find the nasty laughs here telling, truthful, and an overdue joy to read. Anyone else who desire something redeeming to emerge from all the bad faith, a kind act or sacrifice arising from some forgotten reservoir of decency would be better off seeking less severe wit. Wagner mines the old joke about Hollywood that "underneath the tinsel there's more tinsel", and obviously appreciates Jean Baudrillard's theories on simulacra, where the slavish and stylized impression has replaced the real; set this heady abstraction on to the business of celebrity lookalikes and the community that arises among them, we get a twisting , fun house mirror of Hollywood , a parallel existence that mimes the worst and most inane features of the stars they imitate. Wagner, in addition, writes like a wizard who knows where the garbage is dumped.

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