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The Actress: A Novel Hardcover – July 1, 2014
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In this addictive read, Sohn offers a voyeuristic glimpse into the lives of fabulously wealthy Hollywood stars. Talented New York City actress Maddy Freed is headed to the Mile’s End Film Festival as the star of her longtime boyfriend’s indie project. Within days of winning one of the festival’s acting awards, she flies to Venice to audition for a renowned, reclusive director opposite superstar Steven Weller, an aging action hero who has long been dogged by rumors that he is gay. Unsure of whether she is auditioning for a part in the movie or for the role of Steven’s latest conquest, she lands both and is soon outfitted with a manager, a stylist, a nutritionist, and a trainer. But Maddie’s otherworldly new life has its own difficulties, especially when her old friends tell her that she’s changed or when Steven starts to disappear for weeks at a time, ostensibly traveling with old friends on his beloved sailboat. This may well be Sohn’s breakout book for its salacious look at a star obviously modeled on Tom Cruise and for its magnetic themes of lust and fame. --Joanne Wilkinson
“[The Actress sits] perfectly between Joan Didion’s Play It As It Lays and Jackie Collins’ Hollywood Wives.... The great strength of The Actress lies in Sohn’s narrativizing of Maddy’s… journey from innocent to hardened veteran, as a Gaslight-style mystery. Our heroine is dropped into the cauldron of Hollywood life, [and] Sohn very smartly dramatizes the contradictory dictates the true-to-life industry imposes on many actresses… A valuable contribution to the canon of Hollywood fiction—a canon which is actually, incredibly, more sorely lacking strong female points of view than even Hollywood movies.” (Slate)
“Fun, funny, steamy and unputdownable.” (Entertainment Weekly, "Must List")
“Amy Sohn turns her razor-sharp eye on stardom in this sexy and engaging novel. The Actress delves deep into the nature of love and marriage, and offers a behind-the-scenes studio tour of Hollywood to boot.” (Emma Straub, author of The Vacationers)
“In the story of Maddy Freed, indie actress goneHollywood A-list, Amy Sohn delivers at once a serious Bildungsroman and asurreptitious pleasure. The Actress is juicy and addictive, aJamesian Page Six of a novel.” (Elizabeth Gaffney, author of When the World Was Young)
"Amy Sohn’s unputdownable The Actress is like Henry James crossbred with the very best of US Weekly. An addictive saga of love, lust, fame, and friendship centered on a fascinating question: are we who we pretend to be?" (Elisa Albert, author of The Book of Dahlia and How This Night is Different)
“Charismatic, sophisticated and beguiling, The Actress unfurls as seamlessly as a red carpet on opening night. Amy Sohn has written a textured, fresh take on classic, incendiary Hollywood tropes—the closeted leading man, arranged marriage, ambitious ingénues, ruthless agents—that is also a relatable, nuanced story of love and marriage. The Actress is an intelligent and humane novel that manages to civilize Hollywood while honoring its often overlooked complexities and still leaving its wicked vitality intact.” (Elizabeth Kelly, author of Apologize, Apologize! and The Last Summer of the Camperdowns)
"Amy Sohn peels back the tabloid curtain and portrays, in granular detail, the emotional and vocational machinations of a made-in-Hollywood marriage. The Actress is a riveting and frothy novel." (Teddy Wayne, author of The Love Song of Jonny Valentine)
"Amy Sohn's The Actress is one heck of a lot of fun to read and it also offers up rich moral complexities. Maddy, the main character, is both modern and ageless; the young woman who wants it all NOW." (Darcey Steinke, author of Sister Golden Hair)
"Amy Sohn's The Actress is gorgeous and blood-tingling, is smart and fun, is perfect. It's timely, with links to the real world that go much deeper than mere references. It's a rare treat to read a book you know will be beloved." (Darin Strauss, author of Half a Life)
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Some of the Hollywood stuff was fun to read. Merkins and all that but if you read the gossip pages none of it was really new and the end felt like it just kind of tapered off. A big revel... that doesn't happen...