Author and honorary Frenchman Scott Phillips -- you may know him from his novel The Ice Harvest -- has released a new modern noir-type book, Rake. This one takes place in the nicer parts of modern Paris, where the actor who plays Dr. Crandall Taylor on a creaky old American soap opera is now a star thanks to the show's inexplicable popularity on French prime time TV. Certain he can leverage this French connection into a movie deal, Crandall attempts to arrange financing through an arms dealer -- or rather, through the wife of the arms dealer, who has her own dreams of stardom. Crandall is a real piece of work, combining the narcissism of an actor with a past steeped in sketchy sexual habits and violent outbursts. He's the movie star France needs, not necessarily the movie star France wants -- not that that will stop him. Phillips reads from and signs copies of Rake tonight at 7 p.m. at the University City Public Library (6701 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-862-6100 or www.subbooks.com). Subterranean Books will be selling books onsite.
Thu., Aug. 29, 2013