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Ten days in the hills by Jane Smiley
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Ten days in the hills (edition 2007)

by Jane Smiley

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6031929,657 (2.35)25
On the morning after the 2003 Academy Awards, Max--an Oscar-winning writer/director whose fame has waned--and his lover, Elena, are in bed, still groggy from last night's red-carpet festivities. They are talking about movies, talking about love, talking about the just-begun war in Iraq. But a house full of guests demands attention. They share their stories of Hollywood past and present; they watch films in Max's luxe screening room; they gossip by the swimming pool, and tussle in the many bedrooms. The tension mounts, sparks fly, and Smiley delivers a virtuosic, unputdownable romp of a novel about love, war, sex, politics, storytelling--and, of course, redemption--that's Hollywood!… (more)
Member:raparin
Title:Ten days in the hills
Authors:Jane Smiley
Info:New York : Knopf, 2007.
Collections:Your library
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Ten Days in the Hills by Jane Smiley

  1. 00
    The Player by Michael Tolkin (hairball)
    hairball: The original movietown book. (Which isn't, I realize, the point of Smiley's book, but still...)
  2. 00
    The Diviners by Rick Moody (hairball)
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» See also 25 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
I appreciated this book because it was really well written but I didn't like it. It was sort of like My Dinner with Andre— a movie which is referenced in the book — but with a handful of movie industry-related characters instead of two guys, and everyone is very philosophical about everything, or at least constrained with a good deal of interior thinking which of course is the point but nonetheless not much fun to read. Oh the banality of banality. There are some funny parts though, lots of movie references, and if Bergman's The Seventh Seal is a favorite movie you will love this. ( )
  Melorak | Jun 23, 2021 |
I read it; it was okay, but not my favorite Jane Smiley book, not even in the top 5. It was well written enough to see me through to the last page. It is not one of the Smiley books that I will re-read over and over for pure enjoyment of her story-telling and fascinating characters. To be honest, I must admit that there was no element of this book that appealed to me, as with some of her previous books. Good Faith was interesting because I find real estate interesting, A Thousand Acres was a tale of familiar midwestern crop farms like the ones I see all around me, Moo was interesting because of the diverse cast of characters and their vast variety of agendas regarding the university, Horse Heaven was, well, pure heaven for horse racing aficionados, but Ten Days was just un-compelling. ( )
  Equestrienne | Jan 5, 2021 |
This novel's characters annoyed me. One feels guilty about the recent invasion of Iraq. Another "accidentally" exposes himself to a female shopper while he is clothes shopping.

The only intellectually interesting part was commentary about Gogol's "Tara Bulba" in the form of a proposed movie treatment by the alpha male in the story, the head of the household where most of the ten days are spent sitting around. I became curious and read "Taras Bulba." Most of the movie treatment's focus is on the novel's anti-Semitism but that can't be more than two or three sentences in "Taras Bulba." The Jews in the story enable the plot to advance in a clever and convincing way: One smuggles Taras Bulba into the enemy city of Warsaw, the Jewish community shelters him there and the local Jews bridge the foreign language barrier for him. Its all very plausible because the Jews have no skin in the wars between the Ukrainians and Poles and they are motivated by Tara's generous offers of payment for their services. They never think of betraying him and selling him out once his money is gone. They are the only sensible (non-pugilistic) people in the entire story. Smiley ignores all this but I admire how she used "Taras Bulba" for her own literary purposes.
Liberals will like this book. The invasion guilt seems masterfully evoked perhaps because I had felt it so acutely myself at the time and the manner of the penis exposure is highly original. ( )
  JoeHamilton | Jul 21, 2020 |
Too long, too wandering, too much effort.
( )
  dcmr | Jul 4, 2017 |
The characters talk and have sex. Nothing really happens. I was surprised how political it was. There is a lot of talk about the Iraq war. ( )
  nx74defiant | Mar 12, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
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To Jack Canning, Mr. Inspiration
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Max was still sleeping, neatly, as always, his head framed by the sunny white of his rectangular pillow, his eyelids smooth over the orbs of his eyes, his lips pale and soft, his bare shoulders square on the bed.
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On the morning after the 2003 Academy Awards, Max--an Oscar-winning writer/director whose fame has waned--and his lover, Elena, are in bed, still groggy from last night's red-carpet festivities. They are talking about movies, talking about love, talking about the just-begun war in Iraq. But a house full of guests demands attention. They share their stories of Hollywood past and present; they watch films in Max's luxe screening room; they gossip by the swimming pool, and tussle in the many bedrooms. The tension mounts, sparks fly, and Smiley delivers a virtuosic, unputdownable romp of a novel about love, war, sex, politics, storytelling--and, of course, redemption--that's Hollywood!

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