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Brock Brower's National Book Award-nominated novel traces the making of a horror movie in Hollywood.

Simon Moro, a 68-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.

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