“i finished this book at 4:43 AM, because it is the kind of book i stay up all night to read, and seriously, i was really sleepy for a change and not just just suffering from insomnia or anxiety or whatever. I haven't read a New all-nighter in ages so this book was feast after famine for me. yum....”see full review » see other reviews »
Didn’t Like It
“I actually did not finish this book. I tried, since I bought it new from Amazon and hate to waste my money. I struggled through almost 100 pages and it made no sense to me and was a waste of my time. I hate to throw money away, and for this book, that is what I did.”see full review » see other reviews »
“i finished this book at 4:43 AM, because it is the kind of book i stay up all night to read, and seriously, i was really sleepy for a change and not just just suffering from insomnia or anxiety or whatever. I haven't read a New all-nighter in ages so this book was feast after famine for me. yum. yum.
it took me a couple of weeks to warm up to this book, and the characters I fell in love with didn't catch fire, or even appear until i finally settled down to finish this book before i had to give it back to the library. nearer the end of the book i decided i would buy a copy for my own library and force a few of my near and dear ones to read it, when it was over i had mixed feelings about the end. Reading this book was like having a real relationship with it, as if it were a person--- dog-earring pages with quotes i wanted to put on shelfari, while simultaneously running an underlying parallel commentary of what i would say to the the to the author in my head.
That being said, there are some things to criticize; the book is chopped into 3 parts, after finishing the first part, which ends in despair, I had to put the book down for a while before i decided to trust the author to have something good in store for the next 2/3's of the book
. The book from then on moves back and forth in time -Memento-style which got me to the point of being aggravated by the lead characters motivations, or lack there of. I was surprised to find he went on living after the beginning. Then it turns out a DVD of his ruined film becomes big on the midnight movie circuit. His movie has been spliced with, well, maybe i will just let you read that for yourself.
there is a lot of pot smoking and a sad but hilarious tale of working in a video store.
the lead continues in his rage against his father even though he hasn't seen him in years. The end of the second part is very funny and contains some great lines.
this kind of ambles over to part three where all sorts of nearly impossible, and totally improbable connections are made between all of the characters. it gets more surreal as it goes along and SPOILER everybody, and i do mean everybody ends up at barbecue. Including the insane despoiler of the film in a wheel chair pushed by his psychiatrist. Yes, it gets that sappy and surreal as everybody gets perfect closure or a new beginning, usually both. This bothers me because after all the despair and angst in the start of the book, these endings look patently false. like he will wake up and say wow it was a dream. but he doesn't. and the are still a few loose ends. But generally speaking there was plenty to devour and love about this book. I did especially like the way his reformed Dad performed three Christ like miracles. And the movie marathon was great too. and the car in the tree, etc.
I say read it .
“A good debut novel by the youngest of Stephen King's kids. ”James K wrote this review Tuesday, July 16, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I actually did not finish this book. I tried, since I bought it new from Amazon and hate to waste my money. I struggled through almost 100 pages and it made no sense to me and was a waste of my time. I hate to throw money away, and for this book, that is what I did. ”Pat R wrote this review Saturday, May 25, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Did not finish. Got to around page 100, and just couldn't go any further. Characters I didn't care about, a fictional movie that made no sense, and supposedly a fabulous father figure that I was supposed to fall in love with - which soooooooo did not happen. Sorry Owen...”bookbabe wrote this review Sunday, May 12, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Very good first novel by one of Stephen King's kids. This reads much more like a John Irving novel than one of Kings. It deals with a young man and his father, both of whom are involved in film in different ways. Unfortunately the weakest parts of the book are the very beginning and the ending, but overall I enjoyed it very much.”leecoke wrote this review Saturday, April 27, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Didn't grab me.”Marjie S wrote this review Saturday, April 13, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Susan T said: 4 stars
I can picture it on the big screen…
I’m nothing so pretentious as a cinephile; I’m a movie-lover. So, I think, is debut novelist Owen King. But the young protagonist of Double Feature, Sam Dolan, is very much a cinephile and a freshly-minted graduate of film school. As the non-linear narrative opens, Sam is about to start filming the script that was his college thesis. The first third of the novel involves the shooting of this low-budget, indie feature film and the aftermath of that film’s creation. It affects Sam’s life in long-lasting and unexpected ways. Beyond this, Double Feature is about Sam’s complicated relationship with his father, Booth, a deeply flawed and aging B-movie actor. One passage:
“The story was undoubtedly an exaggeration if not an outright fabrication. Booth had been in the business of cheap entertainment for so long that he had gone native. In his telling, everything was a sensation, a shock, a crisis, a betrayal, amazing bad luck, or an unforeseeable confluence. When Sam was younger, his father had let him down. Now that Sam was older, his earlier self’s stupidity mortified him: how could he have expected anything else from a man who relished any opportunity to tell strangers that his infant son looked like a leper? Booth’s fallaciousness was right there all the time, as inherent as the nose on his face.”
It’s bold—Bold I say!—when you’re Stephen King’s son, to publish a debut about a young artist with major daddy issues. Readers tend to read into these things. But I can’t honestly say that I believe Mr. King is working through any issues of his own. Still, he may have some insights into being the child of a celebrity that most of us don’t.
I mentioned above that the novel is non-linear. It moves in time from the opening when Sam is in his early-twenties, back to his parents’ courtship decades earlier, forward to the altered life of Sam’s early thirties, and many points in between. I’m a big fan of this type of story-telling when it’s done right. It’s an interesting way to make revelations, often with answers coming before questions are even asked. Mr. King did manage this device well, for instance, eventually supplying the additional information on Sam’s mother that as a reader I actively craved.
As you can see from the quote above, his use of language is sophisticated. This is not the type of macabre commercial fiction that his father and brother trade in. This is a satirical dramedy, and yes, it’s definitely funny, though not generally in a laugh-out-loud way. Both the characters and the events of the novel have a heightened quality about them, not exactly mirroring real-life, but intentionally so. King has created a fantastic and entertaining assortment of supporting characters. This is one case, however, where I don’t feel that the novel’s jacket copy does them justice or really describes the story accurately. What can you say? No one wants to be guilty of spoilers.
Double Feature is an accomplished debut, but I do have a few criticisms. I felt that both the novel’s beginning and ending were especially strong, but things slumped a bit in the tale’s middle. Further, there are plot developments that occur that are so unbelievably obvious to the reader that it’s hard to credit that Sam can’t see the big picture as easily as we can. It’s true that when you’re living in the moment, these things generally aren’t as obvious, but it still stretched my credulity.
That said, the novel’s plotting was especially impressive. King juggles quite a few literary threads and manages to bring his story full circle in a notably satisfying manner. It’s truly difficult not to develop affection for this loony cast of characters. And one more treat… Do you stay to the very end of films’ credits like I do? Sometimes there’s an “Easter egg” at the very end. This may be the first time I’ve seen a literary Easter egg after a novel’s acknowledgements, but it’s awesome. It’s the perfect way to end this tribute to the magic of movies.”