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Everyone of us knows someone who runs. He is one of the symp-toms of our times—from the little man who shoves you out of the way on the street to the go-getter who shoves you out of a job in the office to the Fuehrer who shoves you out of the world. And all of us have stopped to wonder, at some time or another, what it is that makes these people tick. What makes them run?
This is the question Schulberg has asked himself, and the answer is the first novel written with the indignation that only a young writer with talent and ideals could concentrate into a manuscript. It is the story of Sammy Glick, the man with a positive genius for being a heel, who runs through New York's East Side, through newspaper ranks and finally through Hollywood, leaving in his wake the wrecked careers of his associates; for this is his tragedy and his chief characteristic—his congenital incapacity for friendship.
An older and more experienced novelist might have tempered his story and, in so doing, destroyed one of its outstanding qualities. Compromise would mar the portrait of Sammy Glick. Schulberg has etched it in pure vitriol, and dissected his victim with a precision that is almost frightening.
When a fragment of this book appeared as a short story in a national magazine, Schulberg was surprised at the number of letters he received from people convinced they knew Sammy Glick's real name. But speculation as to his real identity would be utterly fruitless, for Sammy is a composite picture of a loud and spectacular minority bitterly resented by the many decent and sincere artists who are trying honestly to realize the measureless potentialities of motion pictures. To this group belongs Schulberg himself, who has not only worked as a screen writer since his graduation from Dartmouth College in 1936, but has spent his life, literally, in the heart of the motion-picture colony. In the course of finding out what makes Sammy run (an operation in which the reader is spared none of the grue-some details) Schulberg has poured out everything he has felt about that place. The result is a book which the publishers not only believe to be the most honest ever written about Hollywood, but a penetrating study of one kind of twentieth-century success that is peculiar to no single race of people or walk of life.
From the Hardcover edition.
Just finished this excellent book after it was recommended to me via Ryan Holiday. It's a quick read, and I was hooked after the first paragraph:
"The first time I... Read more
What a find! When Hank Moody likened Charlie to Sammy Glick I didn't get the reference but a quick Google led me to this book. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Erik Spierenburg
This book was recommended by Ryan Holiday in an interview with Tim Ferris. Those guys are both heroes of mine and I want to see what the heck they were talking about. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Zeno
I was recommended this classic due to some of my struggles with feeling the need to do too much in life. Read morePublished 9 months ago by John Strohschein
One of the great Hollywood novels, which I had read many years ago, Read again recently it shows that Schulberg was prophetic; the similarities between the novel world of 1941 and... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Art Cooney
Liked the voice. I am wondering what the current American perception of Sammy's character is.
An interesting look into finding success by working the system.