Poolby Ajay Sahgal
“A faultlessly crafted, beautifully constructed, Beckett-in-a-hot-tub, Noel-Coward-on-ludes, Hunter-Thompson-with-an-editor novel.” –The Washington Post Book World
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Emery Roberts is a GQ coverboy and twentysomething movie star who has just walked off the set of a $40 million picture, mega-producer Monty Factor’s new buddy-cop thriller, Sun City. Via MGM Grand Air, Emery flees to the lush hills of Vermont to join a group of self-exiled Hollywood refugees who have taken up residence in an old farmhouse. But his flight is futile: Factor soon mounts a nationwide search to recover his missing property, and in a local bar young townie girls fawn abjectly.
Back at the farmhouse the faces are all too familiar: his producer’s beautiful, alcoholic daughter, a recently fired C.A.A. agent, and a U.S.C. film student who is there to document Emery’s breakdown. As if nature itself has gone awry, the nearby lake is infested with snapping turtles, moving one outraged casualty of the industry to begin constructing that essential Hollywood real estate accessory, a backyard pool.
Larger than life on the screen, in person Emery is a void. And yet as the novel progresses from one hilariously cruel scene to the next, we see that this isn’t simply a pose, but the only way he can protect himself from the valueless landscape and the emptiness of celebrity.
“A faultlessly crafted, beautifully constructed, Beckett-in-a-hot-tub, Noel-Coward-on-ludes, Hunter-Thompson-with-an-editor novel.”—The Washington Post Book World
‘mad scientist Ajay Saghal has set out to test the validity of the proposition that nature abhors a vacuum by sending movie star Emery Roberts to rustic Vermont. . . . As a group portrait of young Hollywood, Pool is absolutely convincing and authentic. Sahgal knows the tribal language and rituals—the cigarette after the gym, the vanity production company, the agentspeak. And in Emery Roberts he has given us a pure portrait of the pop idol as empty vessel.”—Jay McInerney
“Crisp, spare, cruel, Pool finally shows us Hollywood stripped of its trappings. Take note of Ajay Sahgal.”—Jill Eisenstadt
“I’ll never look at a movie star in exactly the same way. Plus this book is so mean and wild it really cheers you up. Mesmerizing.”—Eve Babitz
“Hot, humid, mosquitoey, boozy, hopeless, and utterly convincing
. Screenwriter Sahgal’s fiction debut is a strikingly nihilistic tale told with viperfish humor, biting dialogue, and a perfect sense of timing.”—Booklist
“Pool is one of the most authentic Los Angeles novels you are likely to read . . . compelling, thanks to Ajay Sahgal’s spare, cryptic prose . . . [and] chock-full of wickedly funny bits.”—Los Angeles Times