Friday, September 14, 2012

Book "Not Famous Anymore" by Michael Loyd Gray

About the Book: Elliott Adrian, a famous actor of questionable skill, drinks too much and works himself to the bottom in Hollywood and emerges from rehab wanting to put the American Dream into reverse: he embarks on a journey to not be famous anymore and works his way back to his hometown of tiny Argus, Illinois. After a short exile in Loreto, Mexico, Elliott's road trip takes him from Arizona to Arkansas and finally Argus, where he discovers the girl he was briefly married to in high school has a daughter he has never met. Along the way, Fox News offers a reward for anyone who can find Elliott and once in Argus he discovers he can't quite escape fame and must learn to straddle both worlds - Hollywood as well as Argus. A story about the value of fame and also discovering true self.

About the Author: Michael Loyd Gray was born in Jonesboro, Arkansas, but grew up in Champaign, Illinois. He earned a MFA in English from Western Michigan University and taught at colleges and universities in upstate New York, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Texas. He graduated from the University of Illinois with a Journalism degree and was a newspaper staff writer in Arizona and Illinois for ten years, conducting the last interview with novelist Erskine Caldwell.
He is the winner of the 2005 Alligator Juniper Fiction Prize and the 2005 The Writers Place Award for Fiction. Gray's novel Well Deserved won the 2008 Sol Books Prose Series Prize. His novel Not Famous Anymore was awarded a grant by the Elizabeth George Foundation and was published by HenschelHaus (2012). His novel December's Children was a finalist for the 2006 Sol Books Prose Series Prize and was published by Tempest Books( 2012) as the young adult novel King Biscuit. He has written a sequel to Well Deserved called The Last Stop, and another novel called Blue Sparta. Recently he finished a novel titled Fast Eddie. A lifelong Chicago Bears and Rolling Stones fan, he lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and teaches as full-time online English faculty for South University, where he is one of the founding editors of the student literary journal Asynchronous and sponsor of an online readings series featuring fiction and poetry.

My Review: This is a very well written book, with well constructed characters with very rich personalities. The author explores the theme of superficiality of celebrities making his characters come alive on every page of his book. All dialogues are great. The plot is simple to follow:
Elliot Adrian is a famous actor. When he was young his parents died in a car accident. Still young, while playing with a samurai sword, he had another accident involving his brother. Now, as an adult, fame leads to drinking problems. When he realize the deep hole he was jumping into, he goes into rehab and, after that, he starts a road trip that transforms him from the inside out.
He visit old friends in Loreto, Mexico and Tucson, Arizona, before returning to hometown of Argus, Illinois. In his hometown he met his old girlfriend and find out about her daughter. He also met with his brother. Finally he has to learn how to deal with fame and life in Argus.

After reading this book I start thinking about all the glamour of Hollywood celebrities. Why does our society try to make them hole models? This really beats me...

This is a great read. I recommend this book to the permanent library of any reader who appreciates a good fiction novel and wants to be entertained for some hours. It took me about 5 hours to read the whole book. I look forward reading more novels from this author!

This book was written by Michael Loyd Gray and published by Three Towers Press in December 2011. I received an electronic version of this book for reviewing and I was not requested to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own.

If you read this review, fell free to leave a comment!

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