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.
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About the Author
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.