On the same August day in 1969 that a crazed hippie "family" led by Charles Manson commits five savage murders in the canyons above Los Angeles, a young ex-communicated seminarian arrives with images of Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift - "the two most beautiful people in the history of the movies" - tattooed on his head. At once childlike and violent, Vikar is not a cineaste but "cineautistic", sleeping at night in the Roosevelt Hotel where he's haunted by the ghost of D. W. Griffith. Vikar has stepped into the vortex of a culture in upheaval: strange drugs that frighten him, a strange sexuality that consumes him, a strange music he doesn't understand. Over the course of the 70s and into the 80s, he pursues his obsession with film from one screening to the next and through a series of cinema-besotted conversations and encounters with starlets, burglars, guerrillas, escorts, teenage punks, and veteran film editors, only to discover a secret whose clues lie in every film ever made.
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The best book I've read in years.
The circular narrative.
That's a weird question.
Yeah, but no spoiler here.
Bring in more books from Steve Erickson. I want more.
- R. Löe