Bruce Wagner is the author of "Memorial, The Chrysanthemum Palace "(a PEN/Faulkner fiction award finalist), "Still Holding, I'll Let You Go, I'm LosingYou," and "Force Majeure." He lives in Los Angeles."
A Top-Ten favorite book of 2012 from Sam Sacks of "The Wall Street Journal "
Written in hyper-hilarious, brilliant prose, [DEAD STARS] renders an obsessive pop-culture nightmare of surprising realism and light, illuminating the meanest corners of its characters and our culture s desperation. " Publisher s Weekly, "STARRED review "Dead Stars "is a tragicomic Hollywood epic: obscene, scandalous, heartbreaking.Best American novel I ve read in a year @BretEastonEllis [T]here are few writers capable of escorting us more convincingly into a character s tender, gnarled mind. "Dead Stars," easily Wagner s best and most ambitious novel yet, is a huge, riveting book...every page contains something statically electric enough to scorch the hair from your arms. "Dead Stars" is the "London Fields" of Los Angeles, the "Ulysses" of TMZ culture an immensely literate, fearsomely interior novel about people who are neither. Tom Bissell, "GQ" [DEAD STARS is] not just the best novel about Americans and fame of the past dozen years but the best since Nathanael West's "The Day of the Locust We all know the problems that Mr. Wagner is criticizing we know about the idolization of people who became famous by way of sex tapes; we know about the mind-boggling traffic rates of online pornography; we know about plummeting educational standards and shortening attention spans. Sociologists give us statistics, and pundits write jeremiads. It takes an artist to make us feel the full horror and humanity of the situation. "Wall Street Journal"""" Dead Stars" is a manic, hypersexualized take-down of Hollywood wannabes and strivers, a relentless, wickedly funny, pornographic flash on the eddies of fame in the present moment .the book is a total leap, a stylistic satiric attack, a XXX accomplishment. Wagner is often called a Hollywood writer; I'm not sure that's fair. Fame, craven desire, sexuality, art, pornography, literature, envy, disappointment, greed are these things limited to Hollywood? Carolyn Kellogg, "Los Angeles Times""" Wagner s prose reads like the lovechild of Hunter S. Thompson and David Foster wallace The most enjoyable riffs in "Dead Stars" display Wagner s up-to-the-nanosecond insider s knowledge of the L.A. scene....He also writes some clean, mean, glittery dialogue. Lisa Zeidner, "The Washington Post""