I always wanted to be rich. I know that probably sounds crass, but it’s the truth. A true confession. Like all would-be Hollywood screenwriters, David Armitage wants to be rich and famous. But for the past eleven years, he’s tasted nothing but failure. Then, out of nowhere, big-time luck comes his way when one of his scripts is bought for television. Before you can say “overnight success,” he’s the new toast of Hollywood as the creator of a hit series. Suddenly a major player, he finds that he’s reinventing himself at a great speed, especially when it comes to walking out on his wife and daughter for a young producer who worships only at the altar of ambition.
But David’s upward mobility takes a decidedly strange turn when a billionaire film buff named Philip Fleck barges into his life, proposing a very curious collaboration. David takes the bait and suddenly finds himself inadvertently entering into a Faustian pact and an express ride to the lower depths of the Hollywood jungle.
Douglas Kennedy describes his writing process
Reading Group Guide
After eleven years of failure, would-be screenwriter David Armitage lands a big break: his script is bought for television production. The show is a runaway hit and he is an instant success. In a whirlwind of events he finds himself at the top of the Hollywood heap, being lauded as the creator of the hit series, Selling You. This newfound success brings about major lifestyle changes; David walks out on his wife and daughter for a young producer who worships only at the altar of ambition, yet he believes that nothing could ruin such a successful time in his life.
Enter Philip Fleck, billionaire film buff. Fleck whisks David away to his private island and makes him a bizarre offer to transform one of David’s original movie scripts into a Caligula-like remake that highlights the power of control. David balks at the proposition but with some goading, changes his mind and agrees.
Upon David’s return to Los Angeles, his life takes a bizarre turn. Accused of see more