Monday, December 15, 2014

Best to Laugh by Lorna Landvik

In this semi-autobiographical novel, folksy funny novelist Lorna Landvik introduces a cast of eccentric Hollywood characters who span from the Golden Era into the tarnished TV years.

Asian-Scandinavian Candy Pekkala followed her dreams to Hollywood so she could pursue a career in comedy. Using baked goods as leverage, she's immediately absorbed into a community that mirrors the Minnesota-nice she left behind: the natty Francis who once ran Hollywood's hottest nightspot along with his blue mohawked punk rock son Frank, a female bodybuilder with a sudsy TV soap star mother, a Romanian seer, a lesbian black-power sistah with a penchant for country music, and many more.

It's an upbeat, funny book about friendship and the end of an era. Candy has some great jobs as a temp worker in Los Angeles, and her friends and neighbors are a hoot. The fact that it's basically Landvik's own story is interesting - because I'm tempted to say the ending is too pat and neatly tied, too "finished" for real life, except it's real life.

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