Thursday, October 18, 2012

Not Famous Anymore

Not Famous Anymore by Michael Loyd Gray
HenschelHAUS Publishing, 2011
Trade Paperback, 236 pages
ISBN-13: 9781595981578

Elliott Adrian, a famous actor of questionable skill, drinks too much and works himself to the bottom in Hollywood and emerges from rehab wanting to put the American Dream into reverse: he embarks on a journey to not be famous anymore and works his way back to his hometown of tiny Argus, Illinois. After a short exile in Loreto, Mexico, Elliott’s road trip takes him from Arizona to Arkansas and finally Argus, where he discovers the girl he was briefly married to in high school has a daughter he has never met.

Along the way, Fox News offers a reward for anyone who can find Elliott and once in Argus he discovers he can’t quite escape fame and must learn to straddle both worlds – Hollywood as well as Argus. A story about the value of fame and also discovering true self.
My Thoughts:

In Not Famous Anymore by Michael Loyd Gray, we are introduced to famous actor Elliott Adrian, a handsome small town boy who has made it big as an action star. However, in the opening scene, we learn that as a child he accidentally cut off his brother’s arm with an old sword, and later that his parents also died when he was young.Currently, Elliot is a drunk and an obnoxious human being who has grown tired of his fame. He decides to go to rehab and then plans to live as a regular guy - well, a regular guy with enough money to travel. On his travels he ends up meeting old friends and making new friends.
Not Famous Anymore  asks "What is the price of fame and is it better to avoid it altogether?" The people Elliot meets in his travels help to show him where to find the true value in life. This is a short, easy to read novel.
Gray is a good writer. The novel is dialogue driven, and that is nicely handled, and he also had some pleasing descriptions in the narrative.  Elliot's character was very well developed. There were also a few flaws in the novel. For example first names were used a bit excessively in the dialogue. Also I get weary of harsh political statements being made in novels - in this case putting down Republicans. Goodness knows there are problems across the board with all political parties.
Michael Loyd Gray was born in Jonesboro, Arkansas,but grew up in Champaign, Illinois. He earned a MFA in English from Western Michigan University and taught at colleges and universities in upstate New York, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Texas. He graduated from the University of Illinois with a Journalism degree and was a newspaper staff writer in Arizona and Illinois for ten years, conducting the last interview with novelist Erskine Caldwell.

He is the winner of the 2005 Alligator Juniper Fiction Prize and the 2005 The Writers Place Award for Fiction. Gray’s novel Well Deserved won the 2008 Sol Books Prose Series Prize. His novel Not Famous Anymore was awarded a grant by the Elizabeth George Foundation and was published by HenschelHaus (2012). His novel December’s Children was a finalist for the 2006 Sol Books Prose Series Prize and was published by Tempest Books( 2012) as the young adult novel King Biscuit. He has written a sequel to Well Deserved called The Last Stop, and another novel called Blue Sparta. Recently he finished a novel titled Fast Eddie. A lifelong Chicago Bears and Rolling Stones fan, he lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and teaches as full-time online English faculty for South University, where he is one of the founding editors of the student literary journal Asynchronous and sponsor of an online readings series featuring fiction and poetry.

Micheal’s Tour Stops

Tuesday, August 27th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews - spotlight
Wednesday, August 28th: WV Sticher – spotlight
Thursday, August 29th: Never Too Fond of Books - spotlight
Friday, August 30th:  Cerebral Girl in a Redneck World - spotlight
Saturday, August 31st: The Book Bag – spotlight
Sunday, September 1st: Seaside Book Nook – spotlight
Monday, October 8th: Cerebral Girl in a Redneck World
Tuesday, October 9th: Man of La Book
Thursday, October 18th: she treads softly
Monday, October 22nd: Never Too Fond of Books
Tuesday, October 30th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews

1 comment:

Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

I can't imagine being in the public spotlight all day every day ... I don't know how people can live that way, so I understand Elliot wanting out!

Thanks for being on the tour.