Books

Atlantic Monthly Press
Atlantic Monthly Press
Atlantic Monthly Press

Stars Screaming

by John Kaye

“Kaye describes the city in richly evocative detail, suffusing it with real feeling. . . . His Los Angeles is replete with awful happenings, but it’s also beguiling–a magic space where human dreams have the chance to incarnate (though usually to fall).” –Gary Indiana, Los Angeles Times Book Review

  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Page Count 336
  • Publication Date March 22, 1999
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8711-3742-5
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $13.00
  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Publication Date October 15, 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-9205-9

About The Book

One of the most original novels of Los Angeles in recent years, Stars Screaming takes us beyond the shimmering phenomenon of Hollywood into back streets strewn with the fallout of fame and fortune. Ray Burk is a network censor struggling to break into The Business as a screenwriter. As his wife begins to lose her grip on reality, Burk spends entire days in his car on an endless journey through Los Angeles. His path weaves the present of his dissolving family with the shattering events of his past, circling into the Los Angeles underworld, where his friends, lovers, and enemies intertwine with a volatile mix of pimps, winos, and washed-up starlets who drink away the afternoons trying to recapture the glory days that somehow evaded them. And as the dark secrets emerge, Burk too begins to unravel.

Spanning an arc from the golden 1930s to the bitter 1970s, Stars Screaming is a remarkable portrait of a lost era that captures the moment when the American dream fell apart.

Tags Literary

Praise

“An utterly original L.A. novel . . . the fiction debut of the year.””Newsday, from Our Favorite Books of the Year

“A cross between The Player, The Day of the Locust, and Sunset Boulevard . . . Stars Screaming is a gritty, bizarre, yet all-too-believable Tinseltown epic that confirms our worst suspicions about the myths, legends, and ugly truths that have made the Dream Factory a waking nightmare for those more sensitive souls pining to be in pictures.””Detour

Stars Screaming is an astonishing debut. I couldn’t put it down.””Anne Lamott, author of Bird by Bird

“Kaye describes the city in richly evocative detail, suffusing it with real feeling. . . . His Los Angeles is replete with awful happenings, but it’s also beguiling”a magic space where human dreams have the chance to incarnate (though usually to fall).””Gary Indiana, Los Angeles Times Book Review

“John Kaye knows this ultra-noir territory well, expertly drawing us into a sad and frightening wor

ld.””Ruth Coughlin, The New York Times Book Review

“Kaye has a pitch-perfect ear for his hometown and such a generous heart for his characters that you can’t help but adore his Burk. A kind of Bruce Wagner with soul, Kaye follows in the tradition of Nathaniel West, whose Day of the Locust was, until now, the book about the seamy flipside of a glittery world.”‘sara Nelson, America Online: The Book Report

“Kaye’s touch is so light, the naturalism of his scenes is like an ambush.””Greil Marcus, Interview

“This is an extraordinary, imaginative work . . . a real zinger, like Six Degrees of Separation spanning three decades of Hollywood history.””Library Journal

‘set firmly in the tradition of Nathanael West. Here’s the sordid underside of big-time film, incorporating that most elusive of qualities in movieland”a sense of history. . . . Memorably captures the sprawling madness and demonic myths of America’s dream factory.””Kirkus Reviews

“Kaye has a feeling for quick-and-dirty drama and 1940s’70s Southern California scenery that marks him as a veteran of the lots.””Publishers Weekly

“In his richly atmospheric first novel, screenwriter Kaye conjures a Hollywood peopled by emotionally damaged women and inebriated, over-the-hill actors. . . . Using cinematic vignettes, Kaye offers a dark, bittersweet portrait of Hollywood’s bit players.””Booklist