Thursday, January 17, 2008


Have you ever liked a book so much you recommended it to the person who was your physical therapist? I have. Back in 1994 I was rehabbing my knee after getting it scoped and I had recently read Arc d'X by Steve Erickson and it blew my mind. So I loaned out my book, which I almost never do. He gave it back a few weeks later and said he like it but who knows. Why do I bring this up now? I just finished reading Erickson's latest novel, Zeroville (my 3rd book of 2008).

It's the the story of a man so obsessed with movies that he has Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor, stars of A Place in the Sun, tattooed on the back of his head. Vikar comes to Hollywood after leaving divinity school and disappointing his father only to discover that people in Hollywood don't know much about Movies; he doesn't know much beyond them. He gets mixed up with movie people and works as a set builder before moving on to editing, where he creates a new style that boils down to "fuck continuity." For that, he is nominated for an Oscar and wins a special prize at Cannes. Meanwhile, he is prone to outbursts of violence and also becomes obsessed with punk music and well as an actress who keeps crossing his path.

This book is saturated with movies and delves into philosophy not only of specific movies but of movies in general. Vikar has a recurring dream that leads him to a discover that turns everything on its ear...I know that sounds vague but I don't want to give it away. You should read the book and discover it for yourself. I was captivated by the novel the last few days and kept on reading (the short little sections help you want to go just a bit more and a bit more until big bites of pages are gone). Erickson is a great writer and one who doesn't get a lot of attention. He should.

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