Thursday, August 5, 2010

A STRANGER LIKE YOU: REVIEW AND BONUS ENTRIES

A STRANGER LIKE YOU
BY ELIZABETH BRUNDAGE

PRAISE FOR A STRANGER LIKE YOU:

"'People are ugly and cruel. They are relentless. They will stop at nothing to get what they want.'" Like The Player, A Stranger Like You tests this hard-boiled lemma against the beautiful, nasty backdrop of Hollywood. Elizabeth Brundage delivers a pithy, ironic L.A. noir full of broken dreams and snappy repartee."
-Stewart O'Nan, author of Songs for the Missing

"Elizabeth Brundage is the real thing-an ambitious, serious novelist. Not for her, small bites. She uses Dickensian coincidence and the Russians' sense of tragic destiny, all while observing modern life with a biting acuity and a throwaway hipness-and she dares you to care for characters whose self-contempt, earnest longings, and sad ingratiation are uncomfortably unalloyed. Brundage imbues Hollywood with a mystical super-reality, and scrubs it of anything stock. I couldn't stop turning the pages of this action-packed, poetic, large-souled novel. And I closed it with a pounding heart."
-Sheila Weller, bestselling author of Girls Like Us

"A Stranger Like You is a disturbingly believable thriller that catches you in a spider web of blind ambition, karma, and cinema dreams. Elizabeth Brundage perfectly captures the laid-back perniciousness of L.A. and the dark heart of the movie biz. It's a 21st-century 'noir' that takes you on a journey that leaves you fearful for yourself. Brundage is a singular talent."
-Dirk Wittenborn, author of Pharmakon, or The Story of a Happy Family

"Brundage excels at pushing her characters to their limits and then reflecting on the consequences of their behavior."
-Booklist


IF YOU MISSED THE FIRST POST AND ENTRIES FOR A STRANGER LIKE YOU, HERE IS THE LINK TO GO THERE. YOU CAN READ ABOUT THE BOOK AND A WONDERFUL INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR ELIZABETH BRUNDAGE. IT ALSO HAS SEVERAL MORE WAYS TO ENTER TO WIN THIS FABULOUS BOOK!

MY REVIEW:


Elizabeth Brundage’s new book, A STRANGER LIKE YOU, is a prime example of NOT judging a book by its cover. If I had merely read the simple descriptions on the back cover, and looked at the front picture, there is a good chance I would have passed up a brilliant story that indeed grabbed my attention in the first two pages and didn’t let go until the last. Perhaps the art work won’t hit you that way, but for me I saw another grimy “who done it” that are a dime a dozen rather than an amazing character study that is so well written, you KNOW these people as if you were personally involved in this story yourself.

The “premise” of the story, and in fact the title of one section of the book, is that an unstable would-be screen writer named Hugh Waters devises a plan to confront a producer who was responsible for having his once approved script instead rejected and the planned movie canned. Top producer Hedda Chase feels the script it too far-fetched to be made into one of the compelling and notable sort of films she wants to be known for creating. Unable to handle the rejection, Waters decides to show her how his story is certainly credible by producing it with Chase playing the part of one of the main characters in real life. It is amazing how a kidnapped producer can be made to see the light when personally taking part in a simple reenactment, or so Waters thinks.

Readers will also get involved in the sub-plot which brings together the other important characters: a young woman named Fatima who writes a story made into a screenplay by Tom, Hedda’s one time/current love; as well as the odd romance of Denny, a wounded veteran home from the war in Iraq, and Daisy, a sixteen-year-old abused runaway.

With Brundage’s talented writing, each of the characters takes on a good guy/bad guy role depending on the point of view the story is being told from. The fact that the book is indeed divided into chapters told from the different characters’ perspective allows readers to see the story from more than one point of view and further involve us in each of their lives. The characters are so well developed that their tragic struggles and emotional success resonates with you long after you close the book. I think the last book I felt that way about was THE KITE RUNNER. The shorter chapters near the end of the book add to the heart-pounding conclusion as the action builds to the climax of this enthralling narrative. A STRANGER LIKE YOU will be a stranger no more once you read this memorable book by Elizabeth Brundage.


GIVEAWAY

THANKS TO DARLENE AND THE GOOD
FOLKS AT VIKING PUBLISHING, I HAVE
FIVE COPIES OF THIS DON'T MISS,
EXCITING BOOK TO GIVE AWAY




--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!
HOW TO ENTER:

+1 ENTRY:
COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FOUND INTERESTING ON ELIZABETH BRUNDAGE'S WEBSITE BY GOING HERE


+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING IN THE DESCRIPTION, VIDEO, AND/OR THE REVIEW THAT MAKE YOU WANT TO WIN A COPY OF THIS BOOK

+1 MORE ENTRY:
SHARE ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY ON FACEBOOK

+1 MORE ENTRY: BECOME A FAN AND "LIKE" ELIZABETH BRUNDAGE ON FACEBOOK HERE

GIVEAWAY ENDS AT
6 PM, EST, AUGUST 19!

36 comments:

holdenj said...

There's not a lot of personal info at her website, other than her schooling. I did find it interesting that she highlighted the goodreads giveaway of her book, it's a nice vehicle for authors to get their books out there.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

holdenj said...

I liked your comments about the cover and book design. I have certainly been guilty of judging a book by its' cover!
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

bermudaonion said...

I found it interesting that Elizabeth has a background in film. I think authors who do treat the story arc just a little bit differently. milou2ster(at)gmail.com

bermudaonion said...

When you said each character takes on both good guy and bad guy roles, I knew I wanted to read this book for the character development. milou2ster(at)gmail.com

Mona said...

Her first book "The Doctor's Wife" looks interesting after reading excerpt. Elizabeth background in film is quite interesting ( somewhat similar to Sidney Sheldon). Today her book "A stranger like you" is getting release.

patelmona0113@gmail.com

Mona said...

I like you comments about not judging a book by it's cover which i always do. I realized that it is wrong to judge a book by its cover.
I like your comments about character "Waters" and his decision to make the rejected story in real life. I would love to read this book. patelmona0113@gmail.com

traveler said...

The author has had a varied career, first in the film industry and now her success in wirting novels. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I always look further than a cover since the story anc characters always influence my choice. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Chanelle said...

Readers and critics have sometimes described her work as “feminist."
cparkins14 AT tenacum.ent

petite said...

Elizabeth Brundage is not just a writer. Her abilities are very unique and she is creative and inventive with her stories. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

This multilayered novel with interesting character development makes the book appealing. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

Chanelle said...

What caught my interest from your review was where you talk about a reenactment of a kidnapped producer.
cparkins14 AT teancum.net

Margie said...

I found it interesting that the idea the author wanted to explore in the book is the pursuit of your own destiny, and what really fulfills you as a person.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

"liked" Elizabeth's page on Facebook
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

I too found your comments about not judging a book by its cover interesting. I am often put off by a cover, and will probaby pass on an excellent book. This book sounds very exciting...I love books that you can't put down (although it may cause my house to remain a little dusty!)
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

Made a comment on your Facebook page under the book description.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that she has written a couple of the other books on my to-read list, THE DOCTOR'S WIFE and SOMEBODY ELSE'S DAUGHTER.

monagarg@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

The plot of this book sounds fascinating. The perpetrator left the life of his victim in the hands of destiny.

monagarg@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

In the interview, Elizabeth said that she is a cynical person and enjoys writing about darker subjects and complicated problems. These make for the most interesting books/movies in my opinion.

monagarg@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Email subscriber of blog

monagarg@yahoo.com

Mona said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mona said...

"liked" Elizabeth Page on Facebook

Mona said...

made a comment on a Facebook page of the book ( Comment of the giveaway on the Facebook page of this book)

patelmona0113@gmail.com

Linda Kish said...

It sounds like a roller coaster effect. Sounds wonderfully stimulating.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

This is her third novel. She has also published short fiction.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Pam S (pams00) said...

I found out Elizabeth offer some great discusion guides and materials for book clubs via her website.

Pam S
pams00 @ aol.com

Pam S (pams00) said...

I was sort of on the fence as to whether or not I'd want to read this book, however your review really helped! After reading your input it has moved over to my wishlist and eager to find it (or win it ;) ).

Pam S
pams00 @ aol.com

Pam S (pams00) said...

i liked Elizabeth :)! (Pamela Sinclair)

Pam S
pams00 @ aol.com

Pam S (pams00) said...

shared on facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1329505888&v=wall&story_fbid=139985586036031

Pam S
pams00 @ aol.com

Tore said...

I am a follower. Sounds like a very good book. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

bison61 said...

Elizabeth Brundage holds an MFA from the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she received a James Michener Award. Before attending Iowa, she was a screenwriting fellow at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles.

tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

g.g. said...

I didn't know she wrote The Doctor's Wife and I loved that book

anjamie4 AT gmail DOT com

g.g. said...

I love that it is so into the characters as that always makes a much better read for me

anjamie4 AT gmail DOT com

Mona said...

+5 swagbucks. I joined swagbucks today.

patelmona0113@gmail.com

CherylS22 said...

I thought it was interesting that she won the James Michener Award.

Thanks for the giveaway ~
megalon22 at yahoo dot com

CherylS22 said...

I so agree about choosing a book by the cover! I'm glad you reviewed this book & let us know that this is one that definitely shouldn't be judged by it's cover.
megalon22 at yahoo dot com

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