Double Feature: A Novel
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“An ambitious and warmhearted first novel” (Entertainment Weekly) from Owen King—the epic tale of a young man coming to terms with his life in the aftermath of the spectacularly bizarre failure of his first film.
SAM DOLAN is a young man coming to terms with his life in the process and aftermath of making his first film. He has a difficult relationship with his father, B-movie actor Booth Dolan—a boisterous, opinionated, lying lothario whose screen legacy falls somewhere between cult hero and pathetic. Allie, Sam’s dearly departed mother, was a woman whose only fault, in Sam’s eyes, was her eternal affection for his father. Also included in the cast of indelible characters: a precocious, frequently violent half-sister; a conspiracy-theorist second wife; an Internet-famous roommate; a contractor who can’t stop expanding his house; a happy-go-lucky college girlfriend and her husband, a retired Yankees catcher; the morose producer of a true-crime show; and a slouching indie-film legend. Not to mention a tragic sex monster.
Unraveling the tumultuous, decades-spanning story of the Dolan family’s friends, lovers, and adversaries, Double Feature is about letting go of everything—regret, resentment, dignity, moving pictures, the dead—and taking it again from the top. Against the backdrop of indie filmmaking, college campus life, contemporary Brooklyn, and upstate New York, Owen King’s epic debut novel combines propulsive storytelling with mordant wit and brims with a deep understanding of the trials of ambition and art, of relationships and life, and of our attempts to survive it all.
except for the darker color. A minute or two later, he went back inside. A little while after that, he hollered for Sam to get his ass down if he wanted lunch. More weary than nervous, Sam descended. He had told himself that he was absolved of shame, but this time, the verdict hadn’t stuck. He felt wrung out; he felt like he’d walked into something face-first. They ate at a dinette in the kitchen, which had steel appointments and the hypersterility of an operating room. Central air snored
the ear of his DP, Anthony Delucci, “Stay on the squirrels.” Anthony raised his head to frown at the director. It was not a pleasant sight, Anthony’s frown. The DP, though only twenty, was stout and balding, and had, likely due to the innumerable hours already spent behind a camera in his two decades, a bulging right eye that gave him the mien of a mad scientist’s halfwit assistant. Sam had toyed with the idea of performing as his own DP, but since he was already acting as his own producer and
morning when he remembered the instance. He found an unlocked Russell College security kiosk and called Polly. “It’s kind of late, dude,” she said. Sam told her to never mind that, did she remember what she said to him that time about the Oedipal-type deal? “I honestly have no memory of that,” she said. Sam told her to just listen: “This thing happened, with these rats . . .” It had been one of those moments; people were going to yell at the screen; they were going to cry out, “Those aren’t
the subject of spies, how had she known that they would be passing through Grand Central Station? He was about to ask when she said, “Don’t look at me like that. It’s rude.” “What?” asked Sam. The way her mouth twisted was like she was fighting it. Sandra inhaled. “Oh, you know. Like you’re trying to peek inside my head.” She turned and cut around a platform bearing a prop sled and disappeared, though once she was out of sight, Sam could still discern the clopping of her heels against the wood
there, Communist.” The young man grunted and shuffled away. There was the sound of metal tapping on metal in the ceiling. “You know, more than anything, Booth keeps me on my toes. He makes it fun. I bet that’s a big part of how come your mom loves him so much, too.” The appeal eluded Sam. “You like that?” “Sure,” said Tom. “What’s not to like about feeling happy?” Sam spotted the fallen Nukie on the floor and stamped on it. He ground his heel around, trying to pulverize the poor freak.