December 1, 2009

The Chrysanthemum Palace

Just finished Bruce Wagner's Great Gatsby-esque L.A. novel about children of the rich and famous. The book also stars Chateau Marmont, Shutters, and Chez Jay with appearances by Sharon Stone and Jeff Goldblum, among others. The events are parsed for the reader by narrator Bertie Krohn, the scion of a Hollywood producer who created Starwatch, a popular Star Trek-like T.V. show that boasts a cult following. Bertie is wry, self-aware, and sometimes catty as he unveils the story of a harrowing few weeks spent with his lifelong friend Clea Freemantle and her paramour Thad Michelet. All three are shadowboxing with their emotional inheritance and although the tale is tragic, it has some very funny moments, particularly on the set of the fictional space opera. If I were casting an adaptation of the film, I might consider Jason Schwartzman for the part of Bertie. I'm still pondering who would portray the 54 year-old thespian Thad Michelet, son of a Booker prize-winning novelist with a vicious temperament. Perhaps Clea could be played by Winona Ryder, with Sofia Coppola directing. --Kim