Title: Chimney Rock
Author: Smith, Charlie
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company, New York
Publication Date: 1993
Edition: First Edition
Book Condition: NF
D-j Condition: VG
Comments: D-j has shelf wear. Glue residue on FFEP.
Synopsis: In Chimney Rock, Smith takes on the illusion and madness of America’s factory of fantasy. Hollywood is home for Smith’s narrator, Will Blake, the scion of two generations of movie folk, himself an actor by default, though a good one, for who could better play a role or steal the show than a homeboy, raised where make-believe is every bit as real as what’s real.
Smith’s Los Angeles is the end of the American line, the place where the West ran out of itself and turned inward, its pioneers become impresarios, mining myths, not gold. Will’s father, Clement, is the ape of Hollywood, hell-bent to produce the next spectacle of mayhem and excess, seduce the next woman, and willing to destroy whatever stands in his way. Between father and son there is much bitterness. There is the memory of Will’s brother, Bobby, a suicide; and Jennie White, Will’s mother, who has withstood her husband’s voraciousness only at great cost. But when Clement takes an interest in Will’s wife, Kate – known to the world as the actress Zebra Dunn, she is Smith’s most incandescent creation – this lifelong antipathy erupts in a deadly struggle.
Part murder mystery, part family tragedy, part exploration of the extreme personality, Chimney Rock burns in a white heat from beginning to end and succeeds in questioning, even redefining, the limits of invention.