True Grandeur: A Hollywood Novel

True Grandeur: A Hollywood Novel


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TRUE GRANDEUR is the tale of Conrad Arlington, a young man who moves to Los Angeles to pursue his dream of becoming a great artist. Within a few short years of his arrival, Conrad’s success as a writer brings him to the attention of Gracie Garrison, a beautiful and alluring socialite whose glamorous lifestyle is just as mysterious as the rumors that surround her. After spending a spirited and adventurous night on the town together – one fueled by an excess of beautiful people, extravagant parties, gallery openings, and the madness of a fallen director – Conrad ultimately falls in love with her, believing them to be destined. However, when he awakes the next morning to find that Gracie is gone, he is distraught, and thus embarks on his relentless journey to find her, resulting in a tumultuous spiral of passion, art, and romance as he searches his soul to try and uncover the greatest mystery of all – true love.

At its core, True Grandeur is not just a love story, but rather an in-depth study on contemporary romanticism, of how ideals shape one’s need for individuality and importance, and of how sociological factors such as fame, wealth, and social class contribute to one’s ability to receive – or not receive – true love. It’s a story of what it means to feel deeply, and attempts to accurately illustrate the internal progression of feeling that is the artist’s journey.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780999161012
Publisher: Magic Hour Press
Publication date: 09/20/2017
Pages: 282
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.64(d)

About the Author

Cal R. Barnes was born in Salem, OR in 1988. After briefly studying creative writing and drama at Portland State University in Portland, OR, Cal moved to Los Angeles in 2009 where he immediately began acting and writing screenplays. After a few years he also began producing films as well, enjoying all aspects of the creative process. Cal currently lives and writes in Los Angeles. He is a connoisseur of literature, film, yoga, fruits, vegetables, coffee, tea, and sunshine. True Grandeur is his first novel.

Table of Contents


Prologue — The Last True Artist 5

Chapter 1 — Gracie Garrison 14

Chapter 2 — The Meeting and the Cocktail 30

Chapter 3 — The King and Queen of the Gallery 58

Chapter 4 — The Ballad of Chester the Cherry 82

Chapter 5 — The Ghosts of Sunset Boulevard 99

Chapter 6 — The Romantic Considers 110

Chapter 7 — The End of an Evening 130

Chapter 8 — Winter Breaks 150

Chapter 9 — Sunday Evening at the Chateau 163

Chapter 10 — The Three Pools 204

Chapter 11 — Springtime for the Artist 226

Chapter 12 — Solitary of Greatness 253

Chapter 13 — The Fall of the Golden Girl 258

Chapter 14 — True Grandeur 293

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True Grandeur: A Hollywood Novel 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
sciencexcharm 3 months ago
In the life of luxury and fame, who determines who makes the cut and who doesn’t? True Grandeur by Cal Barnes is vividly wicked and sinfully courageous at the same time. This book will leave readers to think about the underlying message within. With such depth and passion for his characters, Barnes reflects an enigmatic ability to captivate and awe the reader into reading the tale of Conrad Arlington. Conrad has moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dreams. He is destined to create great work of art, moving pieces that will touch the lives of those around him. Conrad has managed to get his foot into the door, but then she happens. The one who stops his heart and quickens it at the same time. Gracie Garrison, a blonde haired beauty, with tons of spirit and no commitments tying her down. She glides in and takes the stage during one of his auditions and that is when he decides that true love may very well be the ultimate price to pay for his work. That is until—she disappears as quickly as she’s come into his life. Through Conrad’s eyes, the reader is able to see passion, vigor, lust, resentment, and desperation, and grief as Barnes shares the extent of what a life in Hollywood could be condemned to. At times, one can even state that it may be an overload of sensory aspects and emotion that can be felt. This story is not just one of romance and true love, but it is purely psychological as well. Barnes sheds light on the need for his characters to find their individuality through a world of cruel and unfair odds. It is sociological and represents the masterpiece as Conrad himself instead of his work as his personality forms over the course of the story. The novel is written quite well, with little to no errors and the pace is nice and quick. The characters are well developed, while still remain mysterious and alluring. If you are a reader of romance literary fiction and psychological fiction, you may want to pick this one up for a quick read. A physical copy of this book was provided to Turning Another Page by the author and in no way affects the honesty of this review. We provide a four-star rating to True Grandeur by Cal Barnes.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite True Grandeur: A Hollywood Novel by Cal R. Barnes is a well-crafted tale of romance, a story of one man’s search for love, for purpose, and ultimately for himself. When Conrad Arlington moves to Los Angeles, it is with the intention of pursuing his dream of becoming an artist. But he quickly attracts the attention of the mysterious and glamorous Gracie Garrison, a trendsetter with a unique charm and beauty. After a night of intense passion, with gallery openings, extravagant parties, and exciting encounters, Conrad wakes up to discover, to his utter chagrin, that the woman he believed to be his soul mate is gone. Now he sets out on the difficult journey to locate her. It’s what he discovers on this journey — about the woman he loves, about the idea of love, the world he lives in and himself — that will surprise readers. A character-driven story, True Grandeur: A Hollywood Novel is well-plotted and the reader is plunged into a world of glitz, with characters that are real and compelling, imagined to be complex. The conflict moves from being personal and sets the tone for interpersonal relationships. Cal R. Barnes’ prose is beautiful and readers will love the insightful passages and the psychological depth of the story. One of the things that immediately caught my attention was the beautiful and well-crafted setting. It wasn’t hard for me to visualize people, to get the colorful aspects of the setting as I read on. The pacing is spot-on, quick, and gripping. The story is a masterpiece in the area of entertainment and the magnetic characters, coupled with the intensity of action, will arrest the attention and interest of readers.
Lovz-Books More than 1 year ago
"If there was ever a sole, singular thing that led me to California, that would undoubtedly be it — a need for some kind of greatness." (6) Conrad Arlington, "the last true artist," believed to have had drive and talent, which led him to this Hollywood story. A young boy with big dreams, he embarks on a relentless journey for true grandeur. Told in the POV of Conrad, this story is the coming-of-age of a young man as he makes his mark in the Hollywood scene, which he soon learns is a "dark place filled with the cries of broken people." Yet, the only thing that mattered was his art, the only voice that drowned out the noise of this mad city. His words of fear and determination were candidly profound and lyrical. Obviously, he was a true artist. Although the story carried a lovely rendition throughout, there was also a lag at times. The character's excitement to create great art was so intense and addicting that it almost wears out with such grueling and tenacious monologues about it. He just tended to go and on and on. I absolutely admired his persistence, but, after a while, it becomes somewhat weary and taxing. I probably didn't take to his story too well because he struck me as an arrogant, little snob right from the start. Therefore, what should've been a relatable and inspiring read actually turned out to be quite daunting and grating.
Amys_Bookshelf_Reviews More than 1 year ago
a dramatic journey There is more than love and romance in this book, it is a journey and adventure for Conrad. The artist is now searching for his own fate, destiny and it's full of self discovery, not just within his soul, but his heart as well. There is a hint of mystery, and suspense, but more for figuring out who Conrad truly is, even beneath his ideals or beliefs. It's a great story, one that is worth reading and taking to heart as well.