Flicker

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Overview

From the golden age of art movies and underground cinema to X-rated porn, splatter films, and midnight movies, this breathtaking thriller is a tour de force of cinematic fact and fantasy, full of metaphysical mysteries that will haunt the dreams of every moviegoer. Jonathan Gates could not have anticipated that his student studies would lead him to uncover the secret history of the movies—a tale of intrigue, deception, and death that stretches back to the 14th century. But he succumbs to what will be a lifelong ...

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Flicker: A Novel

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Overview

From the golden age of art movies and underground cinema to X-rated porn, splatter films, and midnight movies, this breathtaking thriller is a tour de force of cinematic fact and fantasy, full of metaphysical mysteries that will haunt the dreams of every moviegoer. Jonathan Gates could not have anticipated that his student studies would lead him to uncover the secret history of the movies—a tale of intrigue, deception, and death that stretches back to the 14th century. But he succumbs to what will be a lifelong obsession with the mysterious Max Castle, a nearly forgotten genius of the silent screen who later became the greatest director of horror films, only to vanish in the 1940s, at the height of his talent. Now, 20 years later, as Jonathan seeks the truth behind Castle's disappearance, the innocent entertainments of his youth—the sexy sirens, the screwball comedies, the high romance—take on a sinister appearance. His tortured quest takes him from Hollywood's Poverty Row into the shadowy lore of ancient religious heresies. He encounters a cast of exotic characters, including Orson Welles and John Huston, who teach him that there's more to film than meets the eye, and journeys through the dark side of nostalgia, where the Three Stooges and Shirley Temple join company with an alien god whose purposes are anything but entertainment.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An irresistible book . . . the perfect film buff's novel." —Booklist

"Huge, deep-delving movie-lover's delight—and as rich a novel about the metaphysics of moviemaking as has ever been." —Kirkus Reviews

"A novel of great force and originality, nearly every page of which crackles with lust for film." —USA Today

"Tantalizing...scary as a Stephen King novel...has the power to fill even the most casual filmgoer with an awful, creeping dread."  —Bret Easton Ellis, author, American Psycho and Less than Zero

"A real shake-up of your psyche."  —The Courier-Gazette
                  

"The boldest novel about film since Suspects."  —Los Angeles City Beat
 

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This latest effort by the author of the seminal The Making of the Counterculture is a quirky, sexy, sprawling novel that comprises, among other things, a magical mystery tour of the history of cinema, an acid satire on Hollywood and what passes for today's cultural avant-garde, a metaphysical puzzle, an exploration of the psychological impact of films and a parable about the modern spiritual wasteland. UCLA film scholar and critic Jonathan Gates becomes obsessed with legendary German expressionist filmmaker Max Castle, who went to Hollywood in the mid-1920s and whose vampire and ghoul B-movies are viewed by cult fans as deeply troubling evocations of evil. On the trail of Castle's dark past, Gates and his ex-girlfriend, tough-minded film critic Clare Swann, encounter medieval gnostic heresies, secret societies, a teenage genius albino movie producer and an aged Dutch ex-vamp who practices tantric-like sex. Crammed with film lore that will regale cinema buffs, the narrative segues from its realistic beginning into a bizarre, apocalyptic fantasy that eventually spins off the reel, illuminating in the end only a very private, muddled vision. (May)
Library Journal
Penguin strikes again with a wonderful new series called "Great Ideas" featuring 12 books by great thinkers dating back to the first millennium B.C.E. through the mid-20th century, covering art, politics, literature, philosophy, science, history, and more. Each slim paperback is individually designed, and all are affordable at $8.95. A great idea indeed. Snap 'em up! Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556525773
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/1/2005
  • Series: Rediscovered Classics Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 608
  • Sales rank: 818,850
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Theodore Roszak was a professor of history at California State University–Hayward and the author of 18 books, including the international bestseller The Making of a Counter Culture. He has twice been nominated for the National Book Award. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Nation, The Atlantic Monthly, and Harper's. Roszak died in July 2011.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2006

    Scary, Exciting, Intriguing- Everything You Could Want In A Book!

    Flicker is a thriller like no other. A young film student gets involved in the unwravelling of a great and terrible movie legend. Since reading this I'm always a little nervous of watching movies. Who is Max Castle? Who are the Orphans of the Storm? What's so important about 2014? And the ending will leave you with a dropped jaw. A must-read!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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