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Only the Dead Know Burbank: A Novel by [Bradford Tatum]

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Only the Dead Know Burbank: A Novel Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 67 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


“A dreamy, mysterious waltz with the famous monsters of filmland. Tatum brings an insider’s knowledge of the movie biz, and his love letter to America’s great national obsession with the horror movie is caustic, hilarious and terrifying. This glittering new novel is a must-read for the modern monster.” -- Nick Seeley, author of Cambodia Noir

“… this bitingly witty and darkly vibrant concoction features an irresistible heroine, and the gorgeous, lush writing easily conjures the grit and glamour of golden age Hollywood. Maddy’s story is crass, lyrical, and even tragic.” --
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“[T]horoughly entertaining, assisted hugely by Tatum’s erudite first-person prose and fierce commitment to his ambitious, outlandish premise.” -- Booklist

“Classic horror buffs will race through this novel that blends historical fiction with uncanny elements of the gothic. A perfect read for Halloween, Tatum’s debut is a surprisingly poetic, witty love note to a bygone age of cinema.” -- BookPage
--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

About the Author

Bradford Tatum has worked as a writer and actor in both film and television. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter. Only the Dead Know Burbank is his first novel.

--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B01B1AFSY0
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Harper Perennial (October 18, 2016)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ October 18, 2016
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 1227 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Sticky notes ‏ : ‎ On Kindle Scribe
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 403 pages
  • Page numbers source ISBN ‏ : ‎ 0062428756
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.1 out of 5 stars 67 ratings

About the author

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Bradford Tatum’s award winning debut novel I CAN ONLY GIVE YOU EVERYTHING was published in 2010. His second novel, ONLY THE DEAD KNOW BURBANK was published by HarperCollins in 2016 and received a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly. His book GRAY MATTERS has been used as a text book in various college business communication courses. He began his career as an actor appearing in numerous television shows and movies such as 20th Century Fox’s submarine comedy DOWN PERISCOPE, Disney’s POWDER and HBO’s WESTWORLD. He was a staff writer for Dick Wolf on the NBC series DEADLINE and has written and directed two award winning independent features. He has won an Alfred P. Sloan grant for his written work as well as sold pitches to various production companies. Learn more at

Customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5
67 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on October 15, 2022
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5.0 out of 5 stars An intricately woven tribute to old Hollywood creature features
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on October 15, 2022
Tatum evokes more hideous Phantasms and darkly romantic chimeras in the first seven pages of ‘Only the Dead’ than most horror novelists manage in three hundred pages. Much of the book’s success owes to Tatum’s background.

For those unfamiliar with his canon, Tatum is an actor and literary author (his only previous volume a thin philosophical pamphlet) and, therefore, unbeholden to any single genre. This lack of unyielding fidelity to horror is no doubt responsible for the versatility of his vision and the book’s narrative concerns.

There are snatches of everything from fairy tale and magic realism to hard-boiled noir and meta fiction here, all of it blending together to create an intricately woven tribute to old Hollywoodland and the ancient world on whose bones it was built.

I’ve always loved Tatum the actor, but now (between this savory tome and his thoughtful neo-essay short story collection, Grey Matters), I can say I love Tatum the scribe. This dude loves language and his descriptions are rich enough to make the willfully anti-literate into worshipers of words.

The imagery is relentless, even overwhelming at times, as Tatum introduces us to so many turns of phrase one struggles to keep up. But the chase is worth it, as the reader is rewarded in the same way one is rewarded if they follow along to an intricate musical composition.

The story concerns a young girl made immortal by eldritch circumstance and the monsters she meets throughout the centuries, most especially those in Hollywoodland. It is also a lush and deserving tribute to the golden age of the creature feature, but the story only matters as much as the language that takes us there, and this is one novel that is dexterously assembled from top to bottom.
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Top reviews from other countries

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on February 3, 2018
Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars A good quick read for the summer
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on April 17, 2017
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