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American Dream Machine is the story of two talent agents and their three troubled boys, heirs to Hollywood royalty. It's a sweeping narrative about fathers and sons, the movie business, and the sundry sea changes that have shaped Hollywood and, by extension, American life. Beau Rosenwald--overweight, not particularly handsome, and improbably charismatic--arrives in Los Angles in 1962 with nothing but an ill-fitting suit and a pair of expensive brogues. By the late 1970s he has helped found the most successful agency in Hollywood. Through the eyes of his son, we watch Beau and his partner go to war, waging a seismic battle that redraws the lines of an entire industry. We watch Beau rise and fall and rise again, in accordance with the cultural transformations that dictate the fickle world of movies. We watch Beau's partner, the enigmatic and cerebral Williams Farquarsen, struggle to contain himself, to control his impulses and consolidate his power. And we watch two generations of men fumble and thrive across the LA landscape, learning for themselves the shadows and costs exacted by success and failure. Mammalian, funny, and filled with characters both vital and profound, American Dream Machine is a piercing interrogation of the role--nourishing, as well as destructive--that illusion plays in all our lives.

"With coolness and precision, Specktor comes across as a West Coast Saul Bellow in this sweeping narrative, but his energetic, pop-infused prose is markedly his own."--Booklist

"American Dream Machine is the definitive new Hollywood novel. It's almost impossible to write now about the movie business without resorting to well-established mythology. Somehow, here, Matthew Specktor has figured out a way to do so."
--David Shields, author of Reality Hunger and The Thing About Life Is That One Day You'll Be Dead

Matthew Specktor is the author of That Summertime Sound and The Sting, his writing has appeared in Harper's Magazine, Salon, and Open City, and is forthcoming in Tin House, The Believer, and The Paris Review. He is presently collaborating with James Franco on a film adaptation of Steve Erickson's novel Zeroville. A MacDowell Colony fellow and a founding editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books, he lives in Los Angeles.

Event date: 
Tuesday, April 9, 2013 - 7:30pm
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American Dream Machine Cover Image
ISBN: 9781935639442
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: Tin House Books - March 26th, 2013

The Sting Cover Image
ISBN: 9781593762797
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: Soft Skull Press - May 17th, 2011

That Summertime Sound Cover Image
ISBN: 9781576875209
Availability: Special Order
Published: MTV Press - July 21st, 2009