Dead Stars by Bruce Wagner

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We regard Dickens not just as a social novelist but as a visionary who turned to burlesque and exaggeration to give his work a broader, more enduring moral relevance. "Dead Stars" has something of this moralizing intensity.
-WSJ online

Synopsis

Dead Stars is the London Fields of Los Angeles, the Ulysses of TMZ culture—an immensely literate, fearsomely interior novel about people who are neither.” —Tom Bissell, GQ

At age thirteen, Telma is famous as the world’s youngest breast cancer survivor until threatened with obscurity by a four-year-old who’s just undergone a mastectomy…. Reeyonna believes that auditioning for pregnant teenage porn will help fulfill her dream of befriending Kanye West…. Jackie, a photographer once celebrated for arty nudes of her young daughter, is working at a Sears Family Portrait boutique…. And Oscar-winning Michael Douglas searches for meaning while his wife, Catherine, guest-stars on Glee.

Moving forward with the inexorable force of a tsunami, Dead Stars is Bruce Wagner’s most lavish and remarkable translation yet of the national zeitgeist: post-privacy porn culture, a Kardashianworld of rapid-cycling, disposable narrative where reality-show triumph is the new American narcotic.
 

About Bruce Wagner

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BRUCE WAGNER is the author of Memorial, The Chrysanthemum Palace (a PEN Faulkner fiction award finalist), Still Holding, I'll Let You Go; I'm Losing You, and Force Majeure. He lives in Los Angeles.
 
Published August 2, 2012 by Plume. 658 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Dead Stars
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Michiko Kakutani on Aug 09 2012

...this novel feels more like a weary wallow in Hollywood scum than the sort of savage satire this gifted author is capable of writing.

Read Full Review of Dead Stars | See more reviews from NY Times

WSJ online

Good
Reviewed by Sam Sacks on Jul 27 2012

We regard Dickens not just as a social novelist but as a visionary who turned to burlesque and exaggeration to give his work a broader, more enduring moral relevance. "Dead Stars" has something of this moralizing intensity.

Read Full Review of Dead Stars | See more reviews from WSJ online

Reader Rating for Dead Stars
49%

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