Saturday, October 21, 2006

A Very Funny Book: "The Manhattan Beach Project"

I just finished reading "The Manhattan Beach Project" by a friend and very fine writer, Peter Lefcourt. It is published by Simon and Schuster. It is available through Barnes and Noble. I recommend it to everyone in the (film) business. It is a funny, funny, funny book. I rarely laugh out loud when reading, but this book caused many joyful moments over and over again.

The premise: the hero, a quickly has-been producer (after all, his Academy Award was FOUR years ago!), 'lucks' into a TV project, pitched to him by a former (maybe?) CIA agent, about a reality show set in Uzbekistan. The show follows an Uzbeck warlord 24/7 as he steals, kills, and is attacked by rivals. Tony Soprano meets Islam. (The CIA agent becomes his logistical liaison.)

The very quick-read novel spoofs ( nails the truth over and over again) the LA life-style of living-off-credit (the producer is in Debtor's Anonymous; and there are some memorable member meetings), Hollywood sexual politics, network and agent bullshit, executive-ego, producers and network executive's expertise in covering their asses as the producer's/network's develop and produce a reality show, AND the economics/politics of all the '-stans', Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, etc.

The author is a board member of the Writer's Guild, novelist and successful screenwriter living in LA. He brings that first hand knowledge of all of these venues to the book. Plus he brings a style and corrosive intelligence and wit. The book is a winner.


Post a Comment

<< Home