California Time

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A&C Black, Dec 10, 2012 - Fiction - 276 pages
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Victor England, the great film director, returns to Hollywood to finalise arrangements for his next production. Everything seems propitious: he has a firm contract with a studio that owes him a substantial debt of gratitude and whose top executives are top friends of his. Why, then, is he left to languish in the grand hotel owned by Verdugo, which in Spanish means executioner? What is the relationship between Victor, who can write equally well with left hand or right, and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, about whom he once made a film, a film which is showing on TV as he enters his suite? Who is the beautiful girl whom he sees in the lobby, and is she the same girl who is later found dead under sinister circumstances? Is Victor England a victim or a killer?

There have been many novels about Hollywood. There has never been one like this. Frederic Raphael's vision of California Time is of a 'sequence of presents', and his innovations in the form of the novel serve only to add to the multi-faceted strangeness of the 'celluloid capital'. Victor England, young and old at the same time, is a man of many wives and many films, rich and yet dependent on the bounty of a failing industry, whose golden slave he is.
 

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About the author (2012)

Frederic Raphael was born on August 14th 1931 in Chicago, and emigrated to England with his parents in 1938. He was educated at independent schools in Sussex and Surrey, before studying at St John's College, Cambridge. His career spans work as a screenwriter and a prolific novelist and journalist.

In 1965 Raphael won an Oscar for the 1965 movie Darling, and two years later received an Oscar nomination for his screenplay for Two for the Road. He collaborated on the screenplay of Stanley Kubrick's last film Eyes Wide Shut, and wrote a controversial memoir of their time together, Eyes Wide Open in 1999.

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