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I'm Losing You: Hardcover – July 2, 1996


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 319 pages
  • Publisher: Villard; 1st edition (July 2, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679419276
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679419273
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,388,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Screenwriter Bruce Wagner, writer for the "Nightmare on Elm Street" series and of the TV mini-series "White Palms," has set his second novel, like his first, Force Majeure, in the hip world with which he is intimate--Hollywood, as in Babylon writ large, a world of dreams shattered or grotesquely corrupted. Arranged in short sections, each written from the viewpoint of some 20 alternating characters, without a clear plot line, the book's style is as disorienting as the drug-dazed sexually abusive lifestyles of the players. Wagner pulls no punches in his descriptions of these pitiable losers and vile winners; indeed parts of the book are hard on the stomach. The book is unrelentingly powerful, and occasionally downright revolting.

From Publishers Weekly

More soap opera than satire, screenwriter Wagner's wildly uneven second novel (after Force Majeure) presents a wide spectrum of loosely connected characters and situations. Set in contemporary Hollywood, the novel's ensemble cast ranges from budding movie stars and high-powered agents to ambitious masseuses and a New Age homeless woman, with such real-life celebrities as Alec Baldwin and Richard Dreyfuss making cameo appearances. Disparate tales are partially connected through several Hollywood dynasties that interact throughout the novel as Wagner performs a ruthless and occasionally quite sharp dissection of Hollywood's caste system. He is at his best when delineating the hierarchy and competitive paranoia of Tinseltown, and there are occasional moments of pathos in his presentation of the psychic toll of ambition. But many of Wagner's characters are stock types who never rise above cliche, and much of his humor is correspondingly obvious: it takes more than contempt for one's characters to make an effective satirist. He also takes the low art of name-dropping to new depths, with such obsessive cataloging of celebrities and pop-culture icons that the book begins to read more like a fan magazine than a novel. Likewise the vast cast and lack of central incident, reminiscent of Robert Altman's film Short Cuts, which are unredeemed by any overarching vision.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By jwblinn@incom.net on January 10, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Quite posibly the best Hollywood novel since Nathaniel West's "Day of the Locust" or Robert Stone's much under-rated "Children of Light." Wagner has as piercing an eye for character as Nora Ephron, a more rapier wit, and more bulls-eyed capture-effect for nailing the squirming, mercurial nature of the de-centered city. A compilation of vignettes and plotlines loosely interconnected by wry and cunning crossed trajectories of power, desire, carnal predation and patholgical ambition. All of it wired up in electrifying prose and some of the most bitchy and acidic and blackest-of-black humor since Celine. Wickedly funny at every turn. Really a minor (maybe not so minor) masterpiece of the Hollywood genre. Clinically well-observed, vibrant, stylistically ballsy. The critics seem to find it too dark, not plotty enough, bitter, cynical. But insider Wagner ("The Class Struggle in Beverly Hills", "Wild Palms", among others), despite his mainstreamed largely east-coast-imposed postures of populist postmodernist, is a good old fashioned master of realism. The Flaubert of Hollywood. Form following function. A soured lesbian love affair is recounted through a one-sided e-mail correspondence, the authentic human tragedy of a congenitallly blind infant is diminished by the casting director mother's efforts to package it as pop entertainment, relationships exist solely through reception-fractured cell-phone conversations. It's the superficial aspect of human relations in the city of through-lines and sentimental sop that make the novel at once realistic and compelling.Read more ›
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J. F Malysiak on January 31, 2002
Format: Paperback
From the raves garnered for this book and his latest release, "I'll Let You Go", I was intent from the first page on really liking this book. I came away disturbed and baffled more than anything else ... and slightly nauseous.
Wagner certainly is a prodigious talent. His dialogue flies off the page, and his characters, though a rather unlikeable lot, manage to convey a certain pathos that is truly revealing. I might even venture to say I was surprisingly moved by the ending. Unfortunately, though, Wagner comes off as a more impressive stylist than storyteller. As a result, the narrative tends to drift and gets lost amid virtuoustic and occasionally tangential verbiage. One particular complaint is that I often lost track of the characters themselves and how they were inter-related.
This is not - and I repeat NOT - a novel for everyone. It requires a strong stomach and an open mind. Some of Wagner's descriptions border on the pornographic, and occasionally seem to push the envelope just for the sake of shock value.
Still, there is quite a bit to admire here, and if one can get past the fact that these characters are - for the most part - utterly unredeemable, and the plot a bit unfocused, you are in for quite a read.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Richard Guion on January 23, 2002
Format: Paperback
It's a novel set in present day Hollywood, but instead of focusing on Hollywood stars, Wagner looks at the hangers-on types, the agents, lawyers, doctors, massage therapists, etc. It's definitely black humor, as a lot of unfortunate things happen to the characters, but it's definitely worth reading.
The multiple pov is quite interesting. In the first section, Wagner focuses on 4 or 5 characters, and quickly switches the POV between each one in a rapid succession. One character is an exterminator, the other an agent, the next one an aging starlet, and the next a dermatologist. My favorite is the exterminator, the Dead Pet Detective, who longs to write scripts for a Star Trek like TV show called "Blue Matrix". His mother is a psychologist, Calliope, who only treats celebrities, one of whom is a Blue Matrix star.
The second section is even more interesting: it's told from multiple narrators, each of whom are women. A different set of characters who you saw through a different perspective earlier. One is a screenwriter writing e-mail to her lesbian lover, another is a producer dictating into a microphone (much like Julia Philips in You'll Never Eat Lunch In This Town Again), still another is a massage therapist writing in her diary titled "The Thief of Energy". These characters have an effect on each other's lives which is not immediately apparent until the end when things all come together.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By R. Spell VINE VOICE on May 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I like reading novels of Hollywood and this book was recommended. But about 60 pages in this I had to put it down and move to another book. This is not a light novel to read at the beach without full attention. Each sentence is written in complex structure like reading a college textbook. That's OK if there is enjoyment. But 60 pages in I couldn't find the entertainment or characters to attach to. It's rare I can't finish a book. Check my 250 reviews and you'll see it's only happened one other time. And I'm not a skimmer. I read completely what I write about. But this book was not worth further time commitment. Maybe this book was worth the commitment and I just didn't get it. But don't say you weren't forewarned.
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