Warren Hodges, head of International Pictures, lives in a house like a Norman castle with a view of the Pacific. Marta Brooks, blonde and beautiful, takes classified ads for the Romance Advertiser. Victor Shaw has spent time in Soledad state prison but understands that his future lies in blackmail. Taylor Hayden, a good hit man, shines ...
Warren Hodges, head of International Pictures, lives in a house like a Norman castle with a view of the Pacific.
Marta Brooks, blonde and beautiful, takes classified ads for the Romance Advertiser.
Victor Shaw has spent time in Soledad state prison but understands that his future lies in blackmail.
Taylor Hayden, a good hit man, shines his shoes and doesn’t ask questions.
Zimba, a performing elephant, is not as reliable as he looks.
This is Hollywood, and Craig Nova makes it seem perfectly logical that these creatures should find themselves in the same cast.
In his swift, lyrical prose, comic and moving, Craig Nova weaves disparate lives together into a novel that makes utter beauty out of the gritty and grotesque. This is a story about people who are willing to take the chance they have been waiting for all their lives, men and women trying to live up to their dreams.
The Book of Dreams is also a book about California, that youthful place prematurely aged by the burden of too much longing and desire. And the look of the place, with its heartbreaking, ever receding landscape (seen most often through car windows), haunts this novel.
Like a jazz pianist, improvising snatches of other tunes while never straying far from the melody, Nova effortlessly echoes the writers who have helped us see the state in earlier times – Raymond Chandler, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nathanial West, all are acknowledged here in graceful, amusing riffs.
“Born and raised in Hollywood, Nova puts to sly use his insider's eye for both the ordinary and extraordinary detail of the place…. His language is as pungent and hypnotic as ever, conveying a feral threat in the very air his characters breathe. And his humor is evident in his large cast's numerous eccentricities…one of his best…”
“A potently visual writer, Nova is also adept at articulating the obtuseness of an obsessed or hopeless mind. His eighth novel, perhaps his best, is enticing, unsettling, and gratifyingly noir…”
“Nova deftly interweaves a glitzy Hollywood background with some good noir atmosphere, and he scores telling points in his complicated yarn by revealing the essential hollowness of both crooks and bigwigs...”
“Nova spins a gorgeous tale that fully rejuvenates in often surprising fashion the tired Hollywood-novel genre. Despite their familiarity, the characters and their backgrounds are marvelously detailed and ...cliche-free (no small feat in this genre)… Nova's eighth novel is so good that it reminds one of the great Day of the Locust…."
“This Hollywood is a boulevard of broken dreams, where everyone is damaged and struggling to find purpose and dignity in places they don't belong…Nova's writing glistens with the black tones of Raymond Chandler… a Hollywood native, Nova obviously knows whence he writes…”
Craig Nova is the award-winning author of twelve novels and one autobiography. His latest novel is The Informer, a literary thriller set in 1930s Berlin.
Nova's writing has appeared in Esquire, The Paris Review, The New York Times Magazine, and Men's Journal, among others. He has received an Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2005 he was named Class of 1949 Distinguished Professor in the Humanities at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.