California Screaming

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Simon & Schuster, 1998 - Fiction - 304 pages
1 Review
Making it big in Los Angeles can mean a lot of things. For Kevin Malloy-- one of West Hollywood's most gorgeous young men-- it means landing the biggest catch of all among the city's many eligible gay bachelors. For media mogul Brad Sherwood, the most eligible of them all, it means having everything-- power, wealth, success, good hair plugs, and yes, even love.

And so, on a smog-free Christmas morn, Brad, seeking better cell phone reception, finds himself in a deserted parking lot on Sunset Boulevard. It is here that he meets Kevin, who, despite his youth, his fabulous face, great hair, buffed bod, and modest but impeccable wardrobe, knows that there's got to be more to life than what he's found so far as an only vaguely successful photographer with a decided lack of direction.

In "California Screaming", what follows this initial meeting of Brad and Kevin, a perfect synergy of money and beauty, is a relationship that takes them to new heights, leaving only the most cynical and bitter of wags about town to ask the question: how can such a perfect love be so pure... and agenda-less?

That it's not, of course, is a truth known only to a privileged few of Hollywood's best positioned insiders. Only they know that Brad Sherwood's media empire is under attack from all sides. Only they know what Kevin has done so far to survive, and even fewer of them know why he escaped from New York to LA in the first place, and why he can never, ever go back.

But then, who among them would talk? Surely not Leon, Kevin's old roommate, left behind in West Hollywood. Not Brad's best friend Rob, a former skating star who now produces ice extravaganzas. But what about Kim, the Australian personal trainer desperately seeking the American dream? Or perhaps Shane, the innocent young flight attendant seeking self-esteem through steroids and very special plastic surgery?

The game they play, of course, is one of all or nothing. Brad's empire may be a house of cards held together by sound bites, but he still controls the deck. And so long as Kevin can keep the real reason he left New York from getting out, everyone's illusions can continue. For why shouldn't they, since illusions are all that matter anyway? And life in LA, when it's not a dream, can turn into a real nightmare.

Fresh and fun, but poignant as well; sexy, sardonic, and unerringly on target, this tale of love and intrigue among Hollywood's gay elite sparkles with wit and delicious fun. Ruthlessly skewering America's true hometown, while joyfully celebrating its glamour and genuine joie de vivre, "California Screaming" is a must for anyone looking for a primer for survival in the new, respectable Hollywood.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A fun, frank, and totally fab first novel, this glossy depiction of several gay relationships in the heart of Hollywood has a dash of depth to complement the camp: a lightweight but sincere ... Read full review

California screaming

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Kevin Malloy is a struggling 27-year-old photographer in Los Angeles who spends most of his time working out at the gym with his equally narcissistic roommate, Leon, counting his calories and ... Read full review


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About the author (1998)

Doug Guinan is the author of several acclaimed short stories. California Screaming is his first novel. He lives in Los Angeles, and clearly knows whereof he writes.

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