Writer Bruce Wagner's script for David Cronenberg's Maps to the Stars is of a piece with his other work. It blends a cynical vision of people with an even darker examination of the worship of the superficial that is Hollywood life.
The Money Shot (title appropriated from porn-industry jargon, if you didn't already know) shouldn't be as consistently amusing as it is. LaBute get his laughs -- and he gets a carload of them -- from two embarrassingly easy targets.
No, he is a man who is spiraling into a vortex of delusion, mania and depression. But the book is about more than mental illness. It is a meditation on memory, its hopscotch, recursive nature and the extent to which forgiveness is possible for the memory-deprived.
Gustave Flaubert wrestles with the ravages of old age, religion, the joy and heartbreak of love, children, and more. Though each of these stories is just some 40 pages long, they loom larger in the imagination.
I have a book festish for the back matter of biographies and histories. I toggle between "selected" and "annotated," and back again. I even test the dreaded "further reading," but it just seemed too pushy.