Flicker by Theodore Roszak

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From the golden age of art movies and underground cinema to X-rated porn, splatter films, and midnight movies, this breathtaking thriller is a tour de force of cinematic fact and fantasy, full of metaphysical mysteries that will haunt the dreams of every moviegoer. Jonathan Gates could not have anticipated that his student studies would lead him to uncover the secret history of the movies—a tale of intrigue, deception, and death that stretches back to the 14th century. But he succumbs to what will be a lifelong obsession with the mysterious Max Castle, a nearly forgotten genius of the silent screen who later became the greatest director of horror films, only to vanish in the 1940s, at the height of his talent. Now, 20 years later, as Jonathan seeks the truth behind Castle's disappearance, the innocent entertainments of his youth—the sexy sirens, the screwball comedies, the high romance—take on a sinister appearance. His tortured quest takes him from Hollywood's Poverty Row into the shadowy lore of ancient religious heresies. He encounters a cast of exotic characters, including Orson Welles and John Huston, who teach him that there's more to film than meets the eye, and journeys through the dark side of nostalgia, where the Three Stooges and Shirley Temple join company with an alien god whose purposes are anything but entertainment.

About Theodore Roszak

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Theodore Roszak was born in Chicago, Illinois on November 15, 1933. He received a B.A. from UCLA and a Ph.D. in English history from Princeton University. He taught at Stanford University, the University of British Columbia, San Francisco State University, and California State University, Hayward. His only lengthy departure from academia was when he served as editor of Peace News in London during 1964 and 1965. His writings and social philosophy have been controversial since the publication of The Making of a Counter Culture in 1968. His other nonfiction works include Where the Wasteland Ends, Person/Planet, The Voice of the Earth, The Cult of Information, and Ecopsychology: Healing the Mind, Restoring the Earth. He also wrote several novels including Flicker, The Devil and Daniel Silverman, and Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein, which won the Tiptree Award. He died of cancer on July 5, 2011 at the age of 77.
Published April 1, 2005 by Chicago Review Press. 609 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Horror, Action & Adventure, Crime. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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In writing a book about Castle and reviewing silent films Castle made in Germany as a wonderchild, Jonny unearths Castle's ties to a secret order called Orphans of the Storm, or the Cathars, a heretical pre-Christian group allied to the Dark God whose doctrines aim to end mankind as a species by ...

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Publishers Weekly

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This latest effort by the author of the seminal The Making of the Counterculture is a quirky, sexy, sprawling novel that comprises, among other things, a magical mystery tour of the history of cinema, an acid satire on Hollywood and what passes for today's cultural avant-garde, a metaphysical puz...

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Entertainment Weekly

A hundred pages into Theodore Roszak's novel Flicker, we begin to sense that this may be one of those rare books about the movies that actually plumbs the mystery of why we are so moved by them.

Jul 12 1991 | Read Full Review of Flicker

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