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Always Crashing in the Same Car

Audiobook
Nonfiction: Memoir
Unabridged   9.5 hour(s)
Publication date: 08/24/2021

NEW! Now Available

Always Crashing in the Same Car

On Art, Crisis, and Los Angeles, California

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Digital Download ISBN:9781696606646

Summary

Blending memoir and cultural criticism, Matthew Specktor explores family legacy, the lives of artists, and a city that embodies both dreams and disillusionment.

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Product Description

Blending memoir and cultural criticism, Matthew Specktor explores family legacy, the lives of artists, and a city that embodies both dreams and disillusionment.

In 2006, Matthew Specktor moved into a crumbling Los Angeles apartment opposite the one in which F. Scott Fitzgerald spent the last moments of his life. Fitz had been Specktor's first literary idol, someone whose own passage through Hollywood had, allegedly, broken him. Freshly divorced, professionally flailing, and reeling from his mother's cancer diagnosis, Specktor was feeling unmoored. But rather than giving in or "cracking up," he embarked on an obsessive journey to make sense of the mythologies of "success" and "failure" that haunt the artist's life and the American imagination.

Part memoir, part cultural history, part portrait of place, Always Crashing in the Same Car explores Hollywood through a certain kind of collapse. It's a vibrant and intimate inspection of failure told through the lives of iconic, if under-sung, artists—Carole Eastman, Eleanor Perry, Warren Zevon, Tuesday Weld, and Hal Ashby, among others—and the author's own family history. Through this constellation of Hollywood figures, he unearths a fascinating alternate history of the city that raised him and explores the ways in which curtailed ambition, insufficiency, and loss shape all our lives.

Reviews/Praise

"Remarkable. . . . Writing through his troubles, Specktor offers consolatory beauty." ―The Los Angeles Times

"A novelist and critic with a sharp eye for Hollywood blends memoir and cultural critique in this study of classic American failure narratives." ―The New York Times Book Review

"Fascinating. . . . This enthralling work deserves a central spot on the ever-growing shelf of books about Tinseltown." ―Publishers Weekly Starred Review

"Compelling. . . . [an] intimate investigation of one man’s imperfect life, the successes and failures, and most importantly, the realization that who we are now is everything." ―Ploughshares

"Eloquent. . . . An incisive collection of artist portraits illuminates the tenuous quality of Hollywood celebrity and the price it exacts." ― Shelf Awareness

"Fascinating." ―Booklist

"Specktor delivers interesting pieces of criticism, reporting, and self-help in this unique memoir." ―Kirkus Reviews

Author Bio

Matthew Specktor is the author of the novels American Dream Machine and That Summertime Sound; a nonfiction book, The Sting; and the forthcoming memoir The Golden Hour. He has been a MacDowell fellow, and is a founding editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books. Visit him at matthewspecktor.com.