Double Feature by Owen King
A Novel

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The ending of the book collapses in sentimentality and a weary urge to bring the surviving characters together in a party. In short, there is a great deal of excess...
-NY Times

Synopsis

SAM DOLAN is a young man coming to terms with his life in the process and aftermath of making his first film. He has a difficult relationship with his father, B-movie actor Booth Dolan—a boisterous, opinionated, lying lothario whose screen legacy falls somewhere between cult hero and pathetic. Allie, Sam’s dearly departed mother, was a woman whose only fault, in Sam’s eyes, was her eternal affection for his father. Also included in the cast of indelible characters: a precocious, frequently violent half-sister; a conspiracy-theorist second wife; an Internet-famous roommate; a contractor who can’t stop expanding his house; a happy-go-lucky college girlfriend and her husband, a retired Yankees catcher; the morose producer of a true-crime show; and a slouching indie-film legend. Not to mention a tragic sex monster.

Unraveling the tumultuous, decades-spanning story of the Dolan family’s friends, lovers, and adversaries, Double Feature is about letting go of everything—regret, resentment, dignity, moving pictures, the dead—and taking it again from the top. Against the backdrop of indie filmmaking, college campus life, contemporary Brooklyn, and upstate New York, Owen King’s epic debut novel combines propulsive storytelling with mordant wit and brims with a deep understanding of the trials of ambition and art, of relationships and life, and of our attempts to survive it all.
 

About Owen King

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Owen King is a graduate of Vassar College and the MFA program at the Columbia University School of the Arts. He is the author of We’re All in This Together: A Novella and Stories, as well as the co-editor of Who Can Save Us Now?: Brand New Superheroes and Their Amazing (Short) Stories. His writing has appeared in Fairy Tale Review, One Story, Prairie Schooner, and Subtropics, among other publications. Owen has also taught creative writing at Columbia University and Fordham University and is a working screenwriter with a script in development by the producer of Winter’s Bone. He is married to the novelist Kelly Braffet.
 
Published March 19, 2013 by Scribner. 433 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Double Feature
All: 3 | Positive: 0 | Negative: 3

NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by David Thomson on Apr 05 2013

The ending of the book collapses in sentimentality and a weary urge to bring the surviving characters together in a party. In short, there is a great deal of excess...

Read Full Review of Double Feature: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Times

NY Journal of Books

Below average
Reviewed by Autumn Markus on Apr 21 2013

The rest of us should take a hint from Larry Mc Murtry’s lukewarm cover blurb, “Double Feature is a beautiful, wrenching beginning, and Owen King is a young writer of immense promise,” and wait for Mr. King’s own second feature.

Read Full Review of Double Feature: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

AV Club

Above average
Reviewed by Kevin McFarland on Mar 25 2013

Double Feature is affecting at times, but King’s style often mirrors his protagonist’s filmmaking tendencies: too serious, and clever but unfocused. It’s a promising first novel, but it stumbles to reach a satisfying conclusion, however ambiguous.

Read Full Review of Double Feature: A Novel | See more reviews from AV Club

Reader Rating for Double Feature
60%

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