Boy, I'm really flying through books lately! I finished #10 in just a few days. Actually it was a very short novel. I had actually seen the movie of the book many years ago. It was a very peculiar film starring Donald Sutherland, Karen Black, and William Atherton ("Dickless" from "Ghostbusters"). The movie ends in a horrific scene with Sutherland, who plays a character named Homer Simpson (had Matt Groening seen the movie?), stomping a child to death on a busy LA street. He, in turn, is then beaten to death by an angry mob. I wanted to know if the weirdness in the movie was also found in the novel. The answer was "yes." The book is a scathing attack on the culture of Hollywood in the '30's. Everyone is a refugee from somewhere else in the country, all looking for salvation but finding only despair. Everything and everyone is fake just like the movies. Having read the book I now want to watch the movie again. I think I was repulsed by the characters because they were all so unattractive. Now I know that that was the point. Their actions were repulsive because their lives were so as well. The book really reminded me of "The Great Gatsby." Now I have the urge to re-read that as well.