Covino's first novel tells a sprightly story about love, revenge, and the nasty underside of the movie business. Mostly, it's about movie love--but love that has become bloated, ingrown, or obsessive. The principal players are a world-famous film director, an educated gangster's son whose past includes some sleazy movie productions and high-class crimes, an insecure film professor, and his beautiful student-lover. The director has just finished a ludicrously costly picture that may or may not (even he has no idea) be a critical and commercial disaster. The others--an amusingly unlikely trio--join forces to steal the negative before any copies of the movie can be printed. Unfortunately for the thieves, the director does not appear to care, which sets in motion a string of 10 ingenious, sometimes improbable events. Covino has plenty of points to make about art and obsession. Fortunately, since his points are not especially striking, he doesn't dawdle over them. He does, however, create a convincing and funny portrait of a disproportioned world that revolves around movies.
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