The Inner Circle
Magnum, London, 1980
For Scott Waugh and in memory of his brother, Stuart, and the San Francisco days.
dedication: For Scott Waugh and in memory of his brother, Stuart, and the San Francisco days.
The blurb on the back:
1977: TV star and gifted actor is killed in a car crash that looks like suicide.
Well, it's certainly trash, but it's good trash. As a thriller, it's as clunky as Jimmy Savile, with every new development and discovery depending almost entirely on happenstance: Need some information about a long-forgotten star of the silent movies? Don't worry. The guy standing next to you is probably a film student doing a doctoral thesis on precisely that subject.
Still, we've got a lot of material to get through in just 274 pages, so we haven't got time to hang around doing things the realistic way. We've got to account for the rise and rise of the Hollywood star system, we've got to uncover the greatest conspiracy theory this side of the Rosicrucians, and we've got to put the 'cult' back into American culture. It's a broad agenda, and inevitably we're not going to have time for all the details.
So what we get is an immensely readable, high speed romp that moves so fast you won't worry about noticing the joins. In short, a fine piece of work that scarcely bothers to disguise its allegory of the corruption of fame:
ARTISTIC MERIT: 2/5