Ben enters the uneasy world beneath the glossy shine of the movie business, where politics and the dream factories collide and Communist witch hunts are rendering the biggest star makers vulnerable. Even here, where the devastation of Europe seems no more real than a painted movie set, the war casts long and dangerous shadows. When Ben learns troubling facts about his own family’s past and embarks on a love affair that never should have happened, he is caught in a web of deception that shakes his moral foundation to its core.
Rich with atmosphere and period detail, Stardust flawlessly blends fact and fiction into a haunting thriller evoking both the glory days of the movies and the emergence of a dark strain of American political life.
Introducing author Joe Kanon
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Reading Group Guide
In post-WWII Hollywood, Ben Collier has returned from the front lines to find that his brother Danny has died from a fall off a hotel balcony. But the information surrounding Danny’s accident is blurred, and Ben makes his way to Los Angeles wondering why Danny, a war hero and burgeoning filmmaker, would leave behind a life of promise and respect. Or was it not his choice after all?
Joseph Kanon’s most intricate novel to date, Stardust follows Ben on an informative and mysterious trek through the hush-hush world of 1940s Hollywood. As he attempts to piece together the specifics of his brother’s death, Ben is hurled into a stream of secret deals, political maneuvering, and the beginning murmurs of the Hollywood Communist witch hunts.
With a lush depiction of the era, Kanon weaves a tale of intrigue, suspense, and romance that looks behind the film lens and into the hearts of émigrés and American moviemakers of the time. Lights, camera, action…
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