Player

Player

by Michael Tolkin
     
 

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"Just as Griffin suspected, there was a meeting in Levison's office without him." With this opening, we are taken into the mind and life of Griffin Mill, senior vice president of production at a major Hollywood studio. It is a mind full of paranoia, duplicity, and guile--and a life full of money, power, and fame. It is the movie business.

Griffin Mill is

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Overview


"Just as Griffin suspected, there was a meeting in Levison's office without him." With this opening, we are taken into the mind and life of Griffin Mill, senior vice president of production at a major Hollywood studio. It is a mind full of paranoia, duplicity, and guile--and a life full of money, power, and fame. It is the movie business.

Griffin Mill is ruthlessly ambitious, driven to control the levers of America's dream-making machinery. Griffin listens to writers pitch him stories all day, sitting in judgment on their fantasies, their lives. But now one writer to whose pitch he responded so glibly is sending him postcards: "You said you'd get back to me. You didn't. And now in the name of all writers who get pushed around by studio executives I'm going to kill you."

Squeezed between the threat to his life and the threat to his job, Griffin's deliberate and horrifying response spins him into a nightmare. Then he meets the sad and beautiful June Mercator and his obsession for her threatens to destroy them both.

With a compulsively readable narrative that offers a devastating portrait of contemporary Hollywood--the studio execs, the deal-making, the politics, the pitches--The Player is the smartest book.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Set in the upper reaches of Hollywood moguldom, this powerful and disquieting first novel delivers the punch its strong beginning promises. Griffin Mill is a young, near-the-top executive at a major movie studio. His life is the movies, his life's goal is to run the studio, and his every move is measured for its effect on getting him there. He doesn't tell anyone when he begins receiving angry postcards from a writer who complains: ``You said you'd get back to me. I'm still waiting''not because the cards threaten his life, but because they might be used against him within the studio. With a vague plan for propitiation, Griffin tries to pinpoint his threatening correspondent by making random contact with names from his calendar, all the while struggling not to lose his dominance in the management struggle. Dense with icons of the Hollywood mythstory meetings, power lunches, the right tables at the right restaurantsthis is a sharply etched mystery/thriller. But it is even more effective as a kind of modern morality tale. Griffin's self-absorption is so complete, his focus on his standing among colleagues and rivals so single-minded, that ordering from a luncheon menu takes on more significance to him than murder. In the hands of this talented writer, insecure, ruthless, aggressive Griffin Mill is an indelible character. 35,000 first printing; first serial to Manhattan, inc.; Literary Guild and Mystery Guild alternates. (June)
Library Journal
Plagued by a disappointed writer's string of anonymously ominous postcards, Griffin Mill, a powerful Hollywood movie studio executive, commits a senseless murder and then takes up with his victim's girlfriend. Tolkin, himself a screenwriter, squishes this meagre story into his lead character's brain, where it becomes a minor league Dostoevskian psychological adventure, with the interesting subtext that a production executive's success leads not only to guilt and paranoia but to existential murder. Tolkin's bemused view of Hollywood is curt and bloodless yet hardly original, but he does have a keen perception of its various battle strategies. There's a happy ending, which the Hays Office wouldn't have liked, but Hollywood in the 1980s just might. David Bartholomew, NYPL

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802135131
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
03/28/1997
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
193
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.60(d)

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