“A lost classic . . . the history of a horror-film star and a treatise on human frailty . . . is back to be savored and marveled at anew” (James Ellroy, New York Times–bestselling author of the Lloyd Hopkins Trilogy).
Simon Moro, a sixty-eight-year-old star, is making his last picture, a low-budget remake of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven. Moro, infuriated by the bland horror movies of his day, sees his own career—even as it ends—as an ongoing effort to wallop the public with an overwhelming moral shock. And he succeeds when an elaborate publicity stunt turns into a gruesome and grand personal statement. As Moro’s life reels toward its macabre end, it also reels backward through lies and evasions to show its surprising beginning. Underneath his Frankensteinian exaggeration, Moro has a vivid and humane story to tell, even as the coffins break open and dark, erotic secrets are revealed. Brock Brower has taken the horror film in all its gory glory to create a book that recycles pop material into literature, creating a Dickensian tale of America.
“A wonderful book . . . Like a circus with several brilliant performances going on at the same time . . . A real breaking through. I don’t think anybody ever again will be able to dabble politely in mixing ‘real life’ and fiction.” —Joan Didion, New York Times–bestselling author of Slouching Towards Bethlehem
“The way the book skewers society’s obsession with celebrity culture is even more valid today than when it was written, proving that great art stands the test of time.” —Forbes
“A cult novel that amounts to a loving satiric tribute to cinema schlockmeister Roger Corman.” —New York Post