Considered by some to be Budd Schulberg’s masterpiece, The Disenchanted tells the tragic story of Manley Halliday, a fabulously successful writer during the 1920sa golden figure in a golden agewho by the late 1930s is forgotten by the literary establishment, living in Hollywood and writing for the film industry. Halliday is hired to work on a screenplay with a young writer in his twenties named Shep, who is desperate for success and idolizes Halliday. The two are sent to New York City, where a few drinks on the plane begin an epic disintegration on the part of Halliday due to the forces of alcoholism he is heroically fighting against and the powerful draw of memory and happier times. Based in part on a real-life and ill-fated writing assignment between the author and F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1939, Schulberg’s novel is at its heart a masterful depiction of Manley Hallidayat times bitter, at others sympathetic and utterly sorrowfuland The Disenchanted stands as one of the most compelling and emotional evocations of generational disillusionment and fallen American stardom.
About the Author
Budd Schulberg (1914-2009) was born in New York City and grew up in Hollywood, where his father was production chief of Paramount Studios and his mother a successful agent. His many novels include the classic What Makes Sammy Run? and The Harder They Fall, and his screenplay for On the Waterfront earned Schulberg an Academy Award in 1954.