Back(stabbed) in Brooklyn
Lenox Parker, 2010 - 224 pages
Howard Kessler has lived the fast life of a Hollywood star. What could Howard possibly need after a lifetime filled with everything anyone could ever want? When he gets fired from the set of a film which was supposed to resurrect his status, and details come out about a sordid, drunken affair with a possibly underage groupie, his long time girlfriend leaves him and Howard embarks on soul-searching expedition that takes him right back to Brooklyn, against the will of his trusted friend and agent. His expectations of finding fulfillment and vindication were high as he left Los Angeles city limits. He envisioned a big welcome, warm embraces, and the nostalgia of the fun of the past. As he travels east, he realizes he has a better opportunity to reinvent himself and changes his objective. The reunion provides the painful details of the past, and reminds Howard why he left Coney Island and never turned back. He seizes the opportunity to exploit the guys and the put the old-and not so pretty-stories in a screenplay. While he holes up in a condo in Brighton Beach to write it, the untrusting daughter and journalist of one of his pals writes a scathing expose of Howard in a high profile, glossy magazine using interviews given by members of the old gang and others. Meanwhile, Howard's agent and close friend begins to lose confidence-not to mention his main source of commissions-and wavers in his loyalty. The old gang was never as tight as they would like to remember and the reunion opens wounds incurred by old girlfriends, gambling debts, petty crimes and grand larceny, and enough secrets to fill a book. Howard found success once he left Brooklyn, but at a cost that he may regret: leaving abruptly and cutting ties for decades had enabled trivial resentments to turn into lifelong grudges. When he seizes an opportunity to turn his career around by writing an exploitive memoir using their stories, he doesn't heed the risks of getting involved with the old gang again. The guys hire their own writer to dig up dirt on Howard for a glossy magazine; and in a tussle of reputations, Hollywood wins out in the end and Howard reinvents his career as a successful writer, director and producer. The old gang breaks apart once again, this time with much more to lose. Back(stabbed) In Brooklyn is written through the multiple perspectives of the old gang, Howard's agent, and the expose writer. It is roughly 70,000 words.
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