Manifesto for the Dead by Domenic Stansberry

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Manifesto for the Dead is a surreal noir that takes as its main character the master of noir, the late crime novelist Jim Thompson at the end of his career, suspecting he has been framed by a Hollywood producer for the murder of a young starlet. An intricate blend of biography, fiction, and suspense, this literary thriller offers a hair-raising portrait of one of crime fiction's most notorious true-life figures--and a brutal satire of the entertainment industry in the tradition of The Day of the Locust.

As the novel opens, the aging writer is at the end of his string--a habitu of Hollywood bars and endless drinking sessions at the Musso & Frank Grill. Here he is approached by a small-time producer, Billy Miracle, with an offer to work on a project designed to resurrect the career of a fading screen star.

Thompson accepts, and soon finds himself at the center of a lurid triangle, inadvertently following a trail that leads from a dead starlet--found strangled in the back of a Cadillac--to the doorstep of one of the most powerful men in Hollywood.

Set in the seamy back streets of Los Angeles, in 1972, Manifesto for the Dead tells the story of legendary crime writer Jim Thompson in his darkest hour. It is a book about desire and lust, about a writer struggling with illusion, disillusion and fate on the back lots of Hollywood; but the Manifesto is also a novel-within-a-novel, telling two stories that intertwine--one set in Hollywood, the other in Thompson's imagination--each rushing headlong into the other, into that area where fact and fiction are no longer distinguishable, and the darkness is inseparable from the light.


About Domenic Stansberry

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Published January 1, 2000 by Permanent Pr Pub Co. 184 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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The dark master is 64, but he’s still got the raging appetites of a youngster, and quick as any callow noir hero he’s allowed low-rent Hollywood producer Billy Miracle to inveigle him into a deal to use a grisly newspaper anecdote as the basis for a screenplay Thompson expects to sell as a novel ...

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Publishers Weekly

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The always-adventurous Stansberry, whose The Last Days of Il Duce (1998) was nominated for both an Edgar and a Hammett Award, endeavors to bring the talented, troubled noir icon Jim Thompson to life, and comes close to pulling it off.

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