PAGEANT FADED by Richard Karlan


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This Hollywood novel stands out above the endless quagmire of shlock novels about shlock people only by virtue of its central character, Harry Royle, who bears more than a passing resemblance to the bete noire of the celluloid circuit -- Orson Welles. This ""child genius"" director, survivor of a marriage to an aging yet voluptuous star, returns to America from his more or less voluntary (courtesy of the Internal Revenue Service) exile for a spot on a variety show, which leads to an acting job, which leads to the kind of mundane embroilments unsuited to Royle's erratic temperament: hassles with the family he no longer cares about or the chicanery of taking over a minor studio. Eventually and symbolically Royle cuts out, back to Europe, where the stars exist even if the star system doesn't, away from a dying Hollywood that is converting movie studios into parking lots. The prose itself is only barely serviceable.

Pub Date: June 8th, 1972
Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill