A big sweeping story of Los Angeles and of the rise and fall and rise of one man amongst the grit, glamour, desperation and ambition of the movie business in the 60s and 70s.
Beau Rosenwald - overweight, far from handsome, and improbably charismatic - arrives in Los Angles in 1962 with nothing but an ill-fitting suit and a pair of expensive brogues. By the late 1970s he has helped found the most successful agency in Hollywood.
Through the eyes of his son, we watch Beau and his partner go to war, waging a battle that will reshape an entire industry. We watch Beau rise and fall and rise again, forging and damaging remarkable relationships. We watch Beau's partner, the enigmatic Williams Farquarsen, struggle to control himself and this oh-so-fickle world of movies. We watch two generations of men fumble and thrive across the LA landscape, revelling in their successes and learning the costs of their mistakes.
The Hollywood novel born anew . . . bold and unforgettable - Sunday Telegraph
Matthew Specktor couldn't be better placed to give a glimpse of the great white sharks of the film industry - GQ
A protagonist in the spirit of Saul Bellow's Augie March or F Scott Fitzgerald's Jay Gatsby . . . American Dream Machine skips along easily, which is impressive considering the brilliant and wacky details that Specktor has packed in - Observer
American Dream Machine is one of the best novels about Los Angeles that I've ever read - Bret Easton Ellis
Matthew Specktor was born and raised in Los Angeles. His father was a talent agent and his mother was a screenwriter. Specktor worked in film development for many years, and has written several screenplays. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Paris Review, The Believer, Tin House, Black Clock, and Salon.com, among other publications. He is a senior editor and founding member of the Los Angeles Review of Books.