The Deer Park

The Deer Park

Book - 1997
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"Amid the cactus wilds some two hundred miles from Hollywood lies a privileged oasis called Desert D'Or. It is a place for starlets and would-be starlets, directors, studio execs, and the well-groomed lowlifes who cater to them. And, as imagined by Norman Mailer in this blistering classic of 1950s Hollywood, Desert D'Or is a moral proving ground, where men and women discover what they really want—and how far the are willing to go to get it. The Deer Park is the story of two interlacing love affairs. Sergius O'Shaugnessy is a young ex-Air Force pilot whose good looks and air of indifference launch him into the orbit of the radiant actress Lulu Meyers. Charles Eitel is a brilliant director wounded by accusations of communism—and whose liaison with the volatile Elena Esposito may supply the coup de grace to his career. As Mailer traces their couplings and uncouplings, their uneasy flirtation with success and self-extinction, he creates a legendary portrait of America's machinery of desire."--Publisher description.
Publisher: New York : Vintage International, 1997.
Edition: 1st Vintage International edition.
Copyright Date: ©1955.
ISBN: 9780375700408
Characteristics: 375 pages ;,21 cm.


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Dec 15, 2013

Maybe the most emblematic title in Mailer's unruly, pugilistic oeuvre is "Advertisements for Myself." Few, if any authors, have been such brutalizing advocates for their own genius as Mailer, and I guess it worked. His massive ego meant that his subjects included Picasso, Marilyn Monroe, Muahmmed Ali and Lee Harvey Oswald. Oh, and Jesus and Hitler. This third novel of his from 1955 is his Hollywood novel, mostly set in a Palm Springs like town in the desert. You don't feel the weight of his personality as you do in other books, but you don't feel much of anything. His characters and situations are unconvincing, uninteresting and unlikable. It is time to re-evaluate his place in American letters.

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