From Publishers Weekly
More than a decade has passed since Griffin Mill's murderous ascent to Hollywood power in The Player
. Now, with his career stalled and only $6 million in the bank, he is, by Hollywood standards, broke. The 12-year-old daughter he sired with his then mistress (now discontented wife), Lisa, is a brat who reverts to noxious baby talk when she doesn't get her way. His two older children hold him in cold contempt. He suffers from erectile dysfunction (his allergy to Viagra a wicked double whammy) and lusts after his ex-wife, June. In Griffin's mind, all of Western civilization is in decline, and his fantasies feature a Pacific atoll stocked with food and weapons. Step one in his plan to gain control hinges on leveraging the politics of elite Los Angeles private schools. (He commits manslaughter in the process.) Griffin's ploy snags the attention of a voracious entertainment magnate who plucks Mill from his stagnation and taunts him into concocting a multibillion-dollar idea. Mill's antiheroic effort to wring love and meaning from a loveless and meaningless life is heartfelt and cynical, resulting in a powerful dark comedy that transcends the shopworn genre of Hollywood satire. (Sept.)
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Just in case readers have been holding their collective breath wondering what befalls Griffin Mill, Tolkin obliges with this follow-up to The Player
(1992). It's crisis time as Griffin is onto his second (failing) marriage and down to his last $6 million in the bank. He is worried about the end of the world and would like his own private island to escape to, literally. For that he is going to need money, lots of it, and fast. Seemingly unable to randomly commit murder, Mill once again disposes^B of an irrelevant character who stands in the way of his success, though this time without even the vague justification of self-defense. Just about everyone in this novel is motivated by base egoistic escapism, and it quickly becomes clear that they're just the type to make out like bandits. Tolkin's account of modern Hollywood and progressive familial relationships is as dry and passionless as the society it depicts, but he does manage his fair share of perfectly worded insights among--and indeed despite--this otherwise bothersome skin-deep tale. Ian ChipmanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved