Saturday, September 29, 2012

L.A. Fadeaway by Jordan Okun

From Amazon - The unnamed narrator in L.A. Fadeaway is twenty-three, the son of a studio head, rich, entitled, and working in the trainee program of the hottest talent agency in Los Angeles. Fueled by massive quantities of unchecked ambition and attitude, he has one goal: become an agent and take over Hollywood.

Yet in spite of his cocky-cool demeanor, living the “life” is not all it’s cracked up to be. This born-and bred boy of la-la land is consumed with constant anxiety, which he dulls with the usual tools of the trade: Xanax, alcohol, pot, and porn. He knows all too well that Hollywood is a zerosum game: the only way to get power is to take it. The question is how low is he willing to go in order to ascend the Hollywood canyons—and will his determination to follow in his father’s footsteps change after the discovery of an awful family secret?

Although you never get to know the name of the narrator, you really get to know him.  Would I have liked a name? Yes.  But, it didn't change anything about how I perceived this novel.

He's been born with a silver spoon in his mouth but wants more than anything to be an agent in Hollywood.  So he starts out in the mailroom at an agency and begins to work his way up the ladder.   When he becomes the assistant to another agent, he knows he will do whatever he's asked so make a good name for himself.  And when that falls through, he moves to the next in line on his ladder rung.

Along the way, the reader is given an impression about what happens behind closed doors in Hollywood.  The narrator deals with his problems with drugs, but he's also hysterically funny.  He also has a penchant for food, which I sort into the drugs/munchies category.  But Okun does an excellent job of setting each scene, making sure all of his supporting characters are well-developed enough that the reader doesn't care about them but they all serve a purpose.

There's drugs, secrets, crude language, power struggles and much more in L.A. Fadeaway, but it's hard to determine what is fact or fiction, which is the fun part.  Entertaining, to say the least, but a caricature of Hollywood is sure to delight many readers! 

*I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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