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Not Famous Anymore [Kindle Edition]

Michael Loyd Gray
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.95
Kindle Price: $9.99
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New Adult Fiction by Rainbow Rowell
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Book Description

Elliott Adrian, a famous actor of questionable skill, drinks too much and works himself to the bottom in Hollywood and emerges from rehab wanting to put the American Dream into reverse: he embarks on a journey to not be famous anymore and works his way back to his hometown of tiny Argus, Illinois. After a short exile in Loreto, Mexico, Elliott’s road trip takes him from Arizona to Arkansas and finally Argus, where he discovers the girl he was briefly married to in high school has a daughter he has never met.

Along the way, Fox News offers a reward for anyone who can find Elliott and once in Argus he discovers he can’t quite escape fame and must learn to straddle both worlds – Hollywood as well as Argus. A story about the value of fame and also discovering true self.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Few writers understand their own niche as well as Michael Loyd Gray. A quintessentially Midwestern author, he dissects young men at the cusp of middle age, when fear of their own mortality first begins to assail them. Like Hemingway, his muse, Gray is and has always been a man s man. But, like Hemingway, he s smart enough to understand how much torrero dung lies packed beneath the boots of every dude. Dudes tell themselves stories to make the Bogeymen inside their souls lie still. And dude lit, which is what Gray writes, is about men newly aware of the passage of time who suddenly, wrenchingly, know that something drastic has to be done. In the case of Adrian Elliott, pampered film star of NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE, Gray tackles a man who s lived with lies in the City of Lies, Hollywood, facing away from his soul until one day, he simply can t take it anymore. This story is messy because dudes don t get clean and wise by buying shoes and having to choose between the sexy bad boy and the good man who s stood by her but was quiet and shy. Dudes don t introspect. Instead, they wander. Gray gets this to a tee by having Adrian get going, making his way back to the small town where it all began the good, the bad, and the ugly. Often, his characters end up wending their way home, because home is where you sort things out. This book explains better than any I ve read this decade how men think and act. And, guess what? Men are from Mars and Women from Venus, as another Grey told us to the tune of millions of copies. --Monique Raphael High

Michael Gray has fashioned a story about this American century's defining subject, celebrity, and married the subject to the lean, fast-paced style of the noir thriller.The result is a highly readable, totally engaging novel. --Stuart Dybek

Product Details

  • File Size: 445 KB
  • Print Length: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Three Towers Press (an imprint of HenschelHAUS Publishing, Inc.) (November 21, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006C75YRE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,472,973 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Keep watching ... February 6, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Elliott Adrian is famous. Very famous. And he hates that. He hates *that* and he also hates *it*--the mystical qualities with which some are blessed (or cursed, depending on one's perspective) and that propel such people toward fame. There are entire chapters in Michael Loyd Gray's new novel, Not Famous Anymore, devoted to explaining what *it* is and what *that* is. Good for a chortle.

As the story opens, we see Elliott as a 10-year-old boy, not quite holding his own against a group of adolescent bullies, in mid-swing with a Samurai sword. A horrible accident is about to happen. It's a stunning opening and pulls the reader instantly in for the ride, although the results and ripple effects of the accident with the sword become undertext in the rest of the novel, a reminder of who Elliott is outside of the limelight, and what he still needs to do to become a man. Because *it* does not make the man.

The Hollywood scene is appropriately tacky, even distasteful. When we see Elliott in Hollywood, he's really nobody you want to know. Ironically, that seems to be the way of stardom--the people who throw off glitz like an encumbrance are not particularly likeable once you are in the same room and get to know them close up and personal.

So is Elliott Adrian a character to whom I never was quite able to warm up to. I didn't like him much better when he left Hollywood. He was perverse and shallow and arrogant in the glitz, and he didn't acquire much more substance as he ran away from fame. He just became a tad less annoying. He complained about the world that made him wealthy and provided a life of ease, looking for ways to return to the more or less normalcy of the non-famous, but the whine wasn't entirely convincing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Growing Up and Going Home July 30, 2012
Format:Paperback
Elliott Adrian is an uncommon movie star who's well versed in Hemingway, Joyce and Fitzgerald. However, the protagonist of Michael Loyd Gray's NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE is also unique in a more ominous way: As a child, he accidentally maimed his brother. This childhood accident, and the resulting guilt, shadow Elliott throughout his career, and are partly responsible for his excessive drinking. The actor doesn't talk much about the accident, he tries not to think about it, but its memory is as persistent as the paparazzi that pursue him.

In "Babylon Revisited," Fitzgerald writes, "All the catering to vice and waste was on an utterly childish scale, and he suddenly realized the meaning of the word `dissipate'--to dissipate into thin air; to make nothing out of something." Although these are the reflections of a character who succumbed to self-indulgence in 1920s' Paris, they could just as well have been written about Elliot Adrian and his contemporary Hollywood experience. When readers first meet Elliot in Hollywood, he's not a very sympathetic character, but that gradually changes.

NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE is propelled by Elliot's transformational road trip--he sobers up, leaves Hollywood, spends time clearing his head with old friends in Loreto, Mexico and Tucson, Arizona, and then returns to his hometown of Argus, Illinois, where he reconciles with his ex-wife and brother. Along the way he starts doing things for other people, and as a favor to the owner of an Arkansas fishing camp, he even adopts a cat. In short, he does what anyone must do to become truly human: He breaks out of the prison of his self. By the end of the book, readers hope he finds happiness and peace back in his hometown, even if he can't totally escape his fame.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Filled with raw emotion! July 6, 2012
Format:Paperback
I often wondered if celebrities ever got tired of the paparazzi and the inability to walk into a crowded area without being noticed. With all of the reality shows on today, it seems that people are famous for just being famous. Cameras follow them during almost every waking moment in their lives. Elliott Adrian is a successful actor who actually does get tired of the celebrity lifestyle. The more his drinking increases the more unlikable he manages to become. Despite that, I found myself cheering him on wanting him to make better choices.

Elliott's agent encourages him to get it together but he doesn't listen to him. At times I felt like he was a rebellious teen, and just wanted to yell at him. He also reminded me of other celebrities that achieved greatness and allowed one circumstance after another to put them at risk of losing everything. Once he removes himself from what he was learning to despise--Hollywood, and returns to his small hometown, he realizes that there is more going on within him than just his dislike for his current address. A change in environment becomes more than he thought it would be. On his quest to escape Hollywood, Elliott, finds his "true" self. He becomes somewhat more likable as he travels along his journey but his arrogance remains hard to swallow.

The book is filled with humor and wit, and raw emotions flow from page to page. It's a great read!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and Compelling May 15, 2012
Format:Paperback
In our time, we are constantly inundated with images of celebrities. They are in our newspapers, on our televisions, advertisements, billboards, etc, etc. These imagines are craved, desired and sought after by millions. While it is possible that the demand for celebrity gossip represents voyeuristic impulses or simple escapism we cannot overlook that celebrities also embody the great lie which American society maintains itself on--that anyone can make it to the top, to become rich. Though I may overstate the case to some degree, it seems that anyone with a modicum of talent be it theatrical, musical or otherwise (and lots who don't have any) fanaticize about achieving success in Hollywood. They want to make it there and believe that this is the fulfillment of the American promise and will constitute the ecstatic fruition of their dreams. But what happens when the realization turns out to be vacant of meaning?

This question serves as the thematic foundation of award winning author, Michael Loyd Gray's new novel, Not Famous Anymore. In it, Gray traces actor Elliott Adrian's inverted American path--from stardom to obscurity--and the emotional quest that goes along with it as he seeks to find meaning within his seemingly meaningless life. After years in the spotlight, Elliott concludes he has had enough--enough of the parties, enough of the drinking, enough of the shallow sex, enough of the Hollywood lifestyle. Lacking fulfillment and disillusioned in Hollywood, Elliott sets off first to rehab and then through a series of exotic excursions from the shores of Mexico to the deserts of Arizona and finally to his hometown, the tiny hamlet of Argus, Illinois.
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More About the Author

Michael Loyd Gray was born in Jonesboro, Arkansas,but grew up in Champaign, Illinois. He earned a MFA in English from Western Michigan University and taught at colleges and universities in upstate New York, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Texas. He graduated from the University of Illinois with a Journalism degree and was a newspaper staff writer in Arizona and Illinois for ten years, conducting the last interview with novelist Erskine Caldwell.

He is the winner of the 2005 Alligator Juniper Fiction Prize and the 2005 The Writers Place Award for Fiction. Gray's novel Well Deserved won the 2008 Sol Books Prose Series Prize. His novel Not Famous Anymore was awarded a grant by the Elizabeth George Foundation and was published by HenschelHaus (2012). His novel December's Children was a finalist for the 2006 Sol Books Prose Series Prize and was published by Tempest Books( 2012) as the young adult novel King Biscuit. He has written a sequel to Well Deserved called The Last Stop, and another novel called Blue Sparta. Recently he finished a novel titled Fast Eddie. A lifelong Chicago Bears and Rolling Stones fan,he lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and teaches as full-time online English faculty for South University, where he is one of the founding editors of the student literary journal Asynchronous and sponsor of an online readings series featuring fiction and poetry.



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