Dead Stars

Dead Stars

A Novel

Format
ePub
Price
$14.99
 
Additional Formats
  • ePub
  • ISBN 9781101599952
  • 656 Pages
  • Plume
  • Adult

Overview

Dead Stars is the London Fields of Los Angeles, the Ulysses of TMZ culture—an immensely literate, fearsomely interior novel about people who are neither.” —Tom Bissell, GQ

At age thirteen, Telma is famous as the world’s youngest breast cancer survivor until threatened with obscurity by a four-year-old who’s just undergone a mastectomy…. Reeyonna believes that auditioning for pregnant teenage porn will help fulfill her dream of befriending Kanye West…. Jackie, a photographer once celebrated for arty nudes of her young daughter, is working at a Sears Family Portrait boutique…. And Oscar-winning Michael Douglas searches for meaning while his wife, Catherine, guest-stars on Glee.

Moving forward with the inexorable force of a tsunami, Dead Stars is Bruce Wagner’s most lavish and remarkable translation yet of the national zeitgeist: post-privacy porn culture, a Kardashianworld of rapid-cycling, disposable narrative where reality-show triumph is the new American narcotic.

Praise

Praise for DEAD STARS by Bruce Wagner
 
“Written in hyper-hilarious, brilliant prose, [DEAD STARS] renders an obsessive pop-culture nightmare of surprising realism and light, illuminating the meanest corners of its characters’—and our culture’s—desperation.”
—Publisher’s Weekly, STARRED review
 
Dead Stars is a tragicomic Hollywood epic: obscene, scandalous, heartbreaking. Best American novel I’ve read in a year…”
—@BretEastonEllis
 
“[T]here are few writers capable of escorting us more convincingly into a character’s tender, gnarled mind. Dead Stars, easily Wagner’s best and most ambitious novel yet, is a huge, riveting book…every page contains something statically electric enough to scorch the hair from your arms. Dead Stars is the London Fields of Los Angeles, the Ulysses of TMZ culture—an immensely literate, fearsomely interior novel about people who are neither.”
—Tom Bissell, GQ
 
“[DEAD STARS is] not just the best novel about Americans and fame of the past dozen years but the best since Nathanael West’s "The Day of the Locust” … We all know the problems that Mr. Wagner is criticizing—we know about the idolization of people who became famous by way of sex tapes; we know about the mind-boggling traffic rates of online pornography; we know about plummeting educational standards and shortening attention spans. Sociologists give us statistics, and pundits write jeremiads. It takes an artist to make us feel the full horror and humanity of the situation.”
Wall Street Journal
 
“Dead Stars is a manic, hypersexualized take-down of Hollywood wannabes and strivers, a relentless, wickedly funny, pornographic flash on the eddies of fame in the present moment….the book is a total leap, a stylistic satiric attack, a XXX accomplishment. Wagner is often called a Hollywood writer; I’m not sure that’s fair. Fame, craven desire, sexuality, art, pornography, literature, envy, disappointment, greed—are these things limited to Hollywood?”
—Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times
 
“Wagner’s prose reads like the lovechild of Hunter S. Thompson and David Foster wallace…The most enjoyable riffs in Dead Stars display Wagner’s up-to-the-nanosecond insider’s knowledge of the L.A. scene….He also writes some clean, mean, glittery dialogue.”
—Lisa Zeidner, The Washington Post

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