Hollywood Mad Dogs: A Novel

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Texas A&M University Press, Dec 11, 2020 - Fiction - 192 pages

Before his death in 2009, legendary Texas author Edwin “Bud” Shrake completed a final novel based on his real-life adventures as a Hollywood screenwriter in the 1970s and ’80s. In this new book, we meet screenwriter Richard Swift, who has been lured away from his cushy job at Sports Illustrated to write a movie for Jack Roach, a matinee idol famous for his electric blue eyes, dimpled chin, and a swagger that makes women swoon. As Swift and his new movie star buddy hurtle through days and nights of Hollywood madness, Shrake’s crystalline prose purrs like a Lamborghini speeding along the Pacific Coast Highway. There are spies and fake houses, mountains of drugs, weird sex, crimes, and bizarre feuds.

In Hollywood Mad Dogs, Shrake deftly satirizes a world where a screenwriter is supplied with a bag of cocaine and given a week to write a script, a star demands that a pet cat be his sidekick on the trail, and two competing box office titans square off on a golf course, “each of them armed with a putter.” 

This rollicking new novel, discovered among Shrake’s literary papers at the Wittliff Collections, provides a hilarious and insightful look at the Hollywood meat grinder. It is a story only Bud Shrake could tell, and it is a worthy addition to the author’s celebrated career, which includes some of the most highly praised novels written by a Texan.

 

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Contents

A Note on Hollywood Mad Dogs
Three
Five
Seven
Nine
Eleven
Thirteen
Fifteen
Seventeen
Copyright

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About the author (2020)

EDWIN “BUD” SHRAKE (1931–2009), dubbed “lion of Texas letters” by the Austin American-Statesman, was a member of the Texas Film Hall of Fame and a recipient of the Lon Tinkle Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Texas Institute of Letters. He was a founding member of Mad Dog, Inc., a notoriously unruly and irreverent gathering of writers. A screenwriter with credits including Tom Horn (Steve McQueen), Kid Blue (Dennis Hopper), and Songwriter (Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson), Shrake was also the author of Blessed McGill and Strange Peaches.

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