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The co-creator of the popular documentary The Atomic Cafe here offers a raw, racy but ultimately empty little first novel of hip excess and redemption: from Beverly Hills to downtown Manhattan to the beaches of Cannes, a young moviemaker gets wasted and searches for love. Katherine Anne Porter O'Shea is a rich little poor girl from Texas, perpetually hung over or high in a succession of Manhattan bars, perpetually bickering with her onetime partner and love, Clemmy Goodbloode. The pair are living off the bucks they made writing a hit outer-space flick. Despite the dissipated inertia, they're hot (""We went from Z list to B list with head-spinning speed""). Still, O'Shea dreams of giving it all up for love and marriage to physicist Walter Light--until his wife fakes a suicide attempt and he retreats. The heartbroken screenwriter hits new highs on cocaine, Percodan, and rivers of booze. She tackles the Academy Awards with her famous football-player cousin, Billyjim, then flies off to Cannes, only to drift into a binge of heroin-partying with an old French flame. Billyjim shows up in time to deliver O'Shea to the bed of German gangster Bruno, who --after a night of love-making--offers to make her happy by bumping off her beloved scientist's wife. When a car accident suddenly makes her Walter's bride, O'Shea's life becomes a B-movie nightmare--Did Bruno make the hit or didn't he? Marriage to Walter almost kills her, but Bruno comes to the rescue again--and in a camp ending, a gang rape in a Detroit motel puts O'Shea back in the Hollywood limelight with her new true love. Boring and indulgent. Despite some trigger-quick comebacks, Loader's book needs detox.

Pub Date: Oct. 26th, 1987
Publisher: Grove