SAM DOLAN is a young man coming to terms with his life in the process and aftermath of making his first film. He has a difficult relationship with his father, B-movie actor Booth Dolan—a boisterous, opinionated, lying lothario whose screen legacy falls somewhere between cult hero and pathetic. Allie, Sam’s dearly departed mother, was a woman whose only fault, in Sam’s eyes, was her eternal affection for his father. Also included in the cast of indelible characters: a precocious, frequently violent half-sister; a conspiracy-theorist second wife; an Internet-famous roommate; a contractor who can’t stop expanding his house; a happy-go-lucky college girlfriend and her husband, a retired Yankees catcher; the morose producer of a true-crime show; and a slouching indie-film legend. Not to mention a tragic sex monster.
Unraveling the tumultuous, decades-spanning story of the Dolan family’s friends, lovers, and adversaries, Double Feature is about letting go of everything—regret, resentment, dignity, moving pictures, the dead—and taking it again from the top. Against the backdrop of indie filmmaking, college campus life, contemporary Brooklyn, and upstate New York, Owen King’s epic debut novel combines propulsive storytelling with mordant wit and brims with a deep understanding of the trials of ambition and art, of relationships and life, and of our attempts to survive it all.
Behind the Scenes of Double Feature with Owen King
Reading Group Guide
Sam Dolan is a young man just trying to get by. After watching his debut film be destroyed by an unstable assistant before he’d had the chance to show it off, only for it to reemerge later as a dramatically altered cult hit, Sam withdraws, living in near-anonymity and working as a weddingographer. It will take a mountain to shake him out of his sullen complacency—or more precisely, a mountain of a man: B-movie actor Booth Dolan is a boisterous, opinionated, lying lothario whose screen legacy falls somewhere between cult hero and pathetic, and who happens to be Sam’s father. In the hands of Booth and Sam’s precocious, frequently violent half sister Mina, as well as a deep supporting cast—a conspiracy-theorist second wife; an Internet-famous roommate; a contractor who can’t stop expanding his house; a retired Yankees catcher; the morose producer of a true crime show; and a slouching indie film legend—the tumultuous, decades-spanning story of the Dolan family’s friends, lovers, and adversaries rises up to confro see more