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.
This witty debut novel from King, (We're All in This Together), son of Stephen, is about film and family. Endearing, irascible Sam Dolan is a young filmmaker with a big father problem that is, his dad, B-movie actor Booth Dolan, has a personality that's a big problem. But Sam finds even more trouble when his first film, a magnum opus called Who We Are, is mysteriously, and irrevocably, altered in editing. When Sam throws away the only known copy of the altered film, he sets in motion events that will dog him for a decade. His horribly revamped movie turns up in the mid-2000s and becomes a cult hit, as Sam, permanently disappointed, goes from clerking in a Brooklyn video store to working as a wedding videographer. During one long weekend in 2011, Sam comes to terms with his father and his messy life with the help of a wry and determined producer, Sam's foul-mouthed kid sister, Mina, and Wesley Latsch, his odd, housebound best friend/roommate. King's prose is artful, perceptive about people and their "warrens of self that go beyond understanding," and sometimes very funny.