CALIFORNIA STARS by Dan Fazzini

CALIFORNIA STARS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A day laborer travels across America to Hollywood with dreams of screenwriting success in this middling adventure of misfits by debut author Fazzini.

Self-described “freak magnet” William Rand is content to scrape together a living working temporary construction jobs rather than settle into a permanent career. His girlfriend, Linda, with whom he lives, wants him to do something more and encourages him to sign up for a class at the local co0mmunity college. With sudden dreams of grandeur, William takes up a screenwriting course. After watching an infomercial for a screenwriting contest run by famous actor Bill Brooks, he believes it’s a sign to take action. William leaves Linda and the East Coast for Hollywood to personally deliver his script to Brooks. While cutting across the continent by bus, the oafish William meets a host of eclectic working-class personalities who exasperate the protagonist’s plainness by comparison. It’s telling that a “troll” of a man with questionable personal hygiene and an obsession with Cap’n Crunch cereal comes off as having more depth than William—even if not by much. Among the more outlandish characters are a monster-truck-driving little person, a black Nebraska farmer with vitiligo, and an Eastern European woman who grants wishes at a premium (William is the only one on the bus who makes a wish and pays). Less satire than cartoonish fun, the novel cycles through characters at a rapid pace before they lose their interest. The only constant is William, who is too dull to get in the way most times, and Eli Karras, Brooks’ deranged stalker who unbeknownst to William is also headed west to take revenge on the actor for his mother’s death. The novel is no On The Road, but there could be worse ways to pass the time during a long car ride.

A mildly entertaining revolving door of blue-collar caricatures.

Pub Date: Feb. 2nd, 2015
ISBN: 978-1502838476
Page count: 154pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
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