Double Feature: A Novelby Owen King
SAM DOLAN is a young man coming to terms with his life in the process and aftermath of making his first film. He has a difficult relationship with his father, B-movie actor Booth Dolan—a boisterous, opinionated, lying lothario whose screen legacy falls somewhere between cult hero and pathetic. Allie, Sam’s dearly departed mother, was a woman whose only fault, in Sam’s eyes, was her eternal affection for his father. Also included in the cast of indelible characters: a precocious, frequently violent half-sister; a conspiracy-theorist second wife; an Internet-famous roommate; a contractor who can’t stop expanding his house; a happy-go-lucky college girlfriend and her husband, a retired Yankees catcher; the morose producer of a true-crime show; and a slouching indie-film legend. Not to mention a tragic sex monster.
Unraveling the tumultuous, decades-spanning story of the Dolan family’s friends, lovers, and adversaries, Double Feature is about letting go of everything—regret, resentment, dignity, moving pictures, the dead—and taking it again from the top. Against the backdrop of indie filmmaking, college campus life, contemporary Brooklyn, and upstate New York, Owen King’s epic debut novel combines propulsive storytelling with mordant wit and brims with a deep understanding of the trials of ambition and art, of relationships and life, and of our attempts to survive it all.
“[An] ambitious and warmhearted first novel…King writes with witty verve.”
"Fresh, new, and original."
“[A] powerfully insightful and often devastatingly funny debut…. Double Feature constantly walks the line between tragedy and comedy, between love and loathing, between friendship and strained codependency, between art and what’s only posing as art.”
“Epic, ambitious, and dedicated to the uncontainable…[King] has a captivating energy, a precision and a fondness for people that are rare…King loves people as well as words, and he has the reach of a novelist…this is the real stuff, I think, and there’s plenty of it.”
“The son of horror master Stephen, the younger King delivers a darkly humorous and often heartfelt work that's part ode to low-budget movies, part family drama and part screwball comedy with a slew of oddball characters… the only scary thing here is the new novelist's potential as a writer.”
“Sharp, hilarious, and irreverent, Double Feature is not only a love-letter to cinema, but also a moving exploration of what it means to be an artist. This novel is brilliant, and Owen King is a magician.”
“Owen King's Double Feature is an ingeniously structured novel about fathers and sons, good art and bad art, success and failure, fight or flight. It manages both to redeem and condemn the overconfidence of youth, and introduces us to a wonderfully, tragically lovable cast of characters. This is terrific book.”
“Double Feature is a beautiful, wrenching beginning, and Owen King is a young writer of immense promise.”
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Meet the Author
Owen King is the author of the novel Double Feature, We’re All in This Together: A Novella and Stories, and the co-editor of Who Can Save Us Now? Brand-New Superheroes and Their Amazing (Short) Stories.
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Owen King's first novel attempt is a solid potrayal of everyday life. It follows Sam as he is trying to make something of his life while overcoming the inadequacies he feels from his father's career. Booth was a B actor in many unforgetable films, and even though Sam tries his own attempts in acting and directing, he works hard to not draw any parallels to his Dad. If you go into reading this book trying to see similarities to the author's famous roots, you will be disappointed. It is solid writing, but not in the same area as the first novels of the rest of the family, i.e. "Carrie", "Small World", or "Heart Shaped Box". It's not even the same genre. That's what makes this a gem of a first novel. Owen King shows that he can write his own characters and plot without leaning on his "legacy" to help. If you are looking for a nice read about a character struggling to make his place in his own life the best way that he can, this is a a good start.
I heard about this book from a posting on Facebook, and given that was written by Owen King, Stephen King's son, I ordered it right away. I'm an avid Stephen King fan (I've read everything he's written and loved every word) I had high hopes for Owen's debut novel. Frankly, I was not let down. This is an amazing read, and I was sorry to read the final words at the end. King has a tremendous talent for making believable and realistic characters. Sam Dolan comes across as a lost soul who is trying to find his place in the world. I could certainly identify with this, and my heart ached for Sam in his self-induced suffering. I wanted to shake him at times to try to wake him up to say stop with this foolishness and live your life. Owen did a fantastic job with these characters and story line. He grabbed me from the beginning with his easy prose and smooth writing. The one thing that I have always enjoyed about the King tribe is that they are such avid storytellers who plunk down in your head and spin a hell of a yarn. Owen King is proudly carrying on that tradition, yet stands by his own rights as a hell of an author. I laughed many times in reading this book, and I immensely enjoyed the imagery he creates It's a book about movies, and I certainly felt like I was watching one. This is a wonderful, cynical and realistic book that as a lot of bite to it. I look forward to his next novel. It is wonderful to see and read that the immense talent of the King family is continuing on.
My first intro to Owen King. No disappointments. the story of a up and coming movie maker , with his trials and tribulations. Surrounded by family and friends, Sam Dolan paddles his way through feelings from a pompous B movie actor father, a heart breaking memories of his mother, Allie, being ignored and emotional drained by his preoccupied father. Nefarious affairs with a friends wife, and a woman who truly cares for him but is ignored by Sam at times. An eccentric friend who can't get out of his own way, and a godfather, Tom, a builder of sorts who continually adds on to his existing home of perpetuity. The characters well drawn, with their confusing personalities. Owen writes like a seasoned veteran, the prose was amazing. A well drawn out story that will please any reader of intelligent prose. I was amazed at his talent. He comes on the scene with a knockout punch.
Got this from my local library and am so glad I didn't buy it. Could barely get through the first 70 pages before I had to say enough. Was definately disappointed. Thought since Owen King is SK's son it would have been good but was wrong. Would not recommend this book. Sorry but it just was not what one would expect from the son of Stephen King. Maybe will give it another chance in the future but for now it isn't something I find wirth continuing to try to get through. Only gave 1 star because can not post without at least that many. For now this is a thumbs down from me. Some might enjoy this but it just is not my kind read at this time.