Monday, June 24, 2013

Book Review: Double Feature by Owen King

Double Feature by Owen King

419 pages Hardcover Scribner

In a family of writers that includes a father who is the world's top selling author and a brother racking up awards it would be easy to miss the the works of Tabitha and Owen King. I made the decision recently that I would read Owen's debut novel before reading another novel by his brother Joe Hill. I knew it was not genre, but that is OK because I am not a genre only reader to me a good and compelling story is all that really matters.

Double feature is the story of a young indie filmmaker named Sam Dolan, whose father is a semi-famous B-movie actor Dylan Booth whose most famous role is playing a “Satanologist” in a bad horror movie. Sam is making his first movie a indie drama “Who we are” that sounds like a really snoozer. It might seem like the novel is about the making of the movie, but it is more of a collection of characters and history of the family involved in Sam's life.

The writing is pretty solid, the novel it self is often funny. Perhaps the best thing about the novel is it's humor which comes mostly from King's sarcastic narrative. I enjoyed most the relationship between Sam and his father who is the next best thing in the novel. A part of me thinks the novel might have been better focused on Dylan rather than his son.

One part of the novel almost lost during a 12 page unreadable stretch that started on page 53 that followed the production of the film. The idea was to do that part of the book in a super long unbroken paragraph. It was mess and bog down the narrative. I had to skip it I just could not take it.

I have to admit I didn't find this novel gripping at all. If not for the family connection I am not sure I would have given this novel a shot past the first hundred pages. That unending paragraph chapter really was a speed bump for me. I am glad I did because I laughed a lot I am just not sure I'll be running to the next book by Owen King. That being said if you are interested in film and like funny novels it is worth a shot. You might like it more than me.

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