Double Feature

Double Feature

A Novel

  • reading group guide
SAM DOLAN is a young man coming to terms with his life in the process and aftermath of making his first film. He has a difficult relationship with his father, B-movie actor Booth Dolan—a boisterous, opinionated, lying lothario whose screen legacy falls somewhere between cult hero and pathetic. Allie, Sam’s dearly departed mother, was a woman whose only fault, in Sam’s eyes, was her eternal affection for his father. Also included in the cast of indelible characters: a precocious, frequently violent half-sister; a conspiracy-theorist second wife; an Internet-famous roommate; a contractor who can’t stop expanding his house; a happy-go-lucky college girlfriend and her husband, a retired Yankees catcher; the morose producer of a true-crime show; and a slouching indie-film legend. Not to mention a tragic sex monster.

Unraveling the tumultuous, decades-spanning story of the Dolan family’s friends, lovers, and adversaries, Double Feature is about letting go of everything—regret, resentment, dignity, moving pictures, the dead—and taking it again from the top. Against the backdrop of indie filmmaking, college campus life, contemporary Brooklyn, and upstate New York, Owen King’s epic debut novel combines propulsive storytelling with mordant wit and brims with a deep understanding of the trials of ambition and art, of relationships and life, and of our attempts to survive it all.
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  • Scribner | 
  • 448 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451676907 | 
  • June 2014
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Behind the Scenes of Double Feature with Owen King

Owen King's debut novel provides a compelling fictional narrative set against the backdrop of indie filmmaking in "Double Feature".

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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Double Feature includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Introduction

Sam Dolan is a young man just trying to get by. After watching his debut film be destroyed by an unstable assistant before he’d had the chance to show it off, only for it to reemerge later as a dramatically altered cult hit, Sam withdraws, living in near-anonymity and working as a weddingographer. It will take a mountain to shake him out of his sullen complacency—or more precisely, a mountain of a man: B-movie actor Booth Dolan is a boisterous, opinionated, lying lothario whose screen legacy falls somewhere between cult hero and pathetic, and who happens to be Sam’s father. In the hands of Booth and Sam’s precocious, frequently violent half sister Mina, as well as a deep supporting cast—a conspiracy-theorist second wife; an Internet-famous roommate; a contractor who can’t stop expanding his house; a retired Yankees catcher; the morose producer of a true crime show; and a slouching indie film legend—the tumultuous, decades-spanning story of the Dolan family’s friends, lovers, and adversaries rises up to confront Sam whe see more

About the Author

Owen King
Photograph © Danielle Lurie

Owen King

Owen King is a graduate of Vassar College and the MFA program at the Columbia University School of the Arts. He is the author of We’re All in This Together: A Novella and Stories, as well as the co-editor of Who Can Save Us Now?: Brand New Superheroes and Their Amazing (Short) Stories. His writing has appeared in Fairy Tale Review, One Story, Prairie Schooner, and Subtropics, among other publications. Owen has also taught creative writing at Columbia University and Fordham University and is a working screenwriter with a script in development by the producer of Winter’s Bone. He is married to the novelist Kelly Braffet.

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