The Chrysanthemum Palace by Bruce Wagner

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The Chrysanthemum Palace introduces Bertie Krohn, the only child of Perry Krohn, creator of TV's longest running space opera, Starwatch: The Navigators (which counts Jennifer Aniston and Donald Rumsfeld among its obsessed fans). Bertie recounts the story of the last months in the lives of his two companions: Thad Michelet, author, actor, and son of a literary titan; and Clea Freemantle, emotionally fragile daughter of a legendary movie star, long dead. Scions of entertainment greatness, they call themselves the Three Musketeers; between them, as Bertie says, "there was more than enough material to bring psychoanalysis back into vogue." As the incestuous clique attempts to scale the peaks claimed by their sacred yet monstrous parents over a two-week filming of a Starwatch episode in which they costar, Bertie scrupulously chronicles their highs and lows -- as well as their futile struggles against the ravenous, narcissistic, Convulsive and poignant, The Chrysanthemum Palace is a tragic tale of friendship and fate writ large -- a tour de force by a major writer whose narrative delivers devastating emotional impact.

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 March 26, 2013 by Simon & Schuster. 224 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Chrysanthemum Palace

Kirkus Reviews

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A recovering addict, an egomaniacal actor with daddy issues, and an underperforming wannabe make for a particularly LA dysfunctional trio.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Chrysanthemum Palace

Publishers Weekly

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In his Cellular Trilogy, novelist Wagner gleefully excoriated Hollywood vanity and pretense. Obviously his hunger for butchering Tinseltown's sacred cows was not sated because in his latest wor

Jan 03 2005 | Read Full Review of The Chrysanthemum Palace

The New York Times

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And Thad is contemplating a one-man show (to be directed, he hopes, by Mike Nichols) that would tell the story of his own life, including "his revenant twin, Zeus-like dad and ice queen mom - the whole shebang."From the start of the novel, a nimbus of doom hangs over the romance of Clea and Thad,...

Feb 22 2005 | Read Full Review of The Chrysanthemum Palace

Publishers Weekly

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The writing itself is wonderfully bad, as Bertie the hapless hack attempts to chronicle his melodramatic tale with 25-cent words ("commodious," "numinous," etc.) and wickedly overwrought metaphors ("Thad's hungry eyes surveyed the topography of human detail unfolding before him like a jet devouri...

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