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Published 1972 by Cape
Black cloth, silver titles
Dust jacket priced at £1.95
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|CLOSE-UP is an astonishingly authentic view of the film world — the world where, as one character remarks, even the has-beens fly first class. The rituals, the wheeler-dealer politics and back-stabbing tactics of the richest industry in the world have never been more effectively portrayed.
Linchpin of the narrative is Marshall Stone, international superstar and charismatic member of Hollywood's elite. Abundantly blessed with charm, genius and wealth, he lacks the one gift he most desires — everlasting youth. Even this ambition seems within his grasp when an eminent writer begins the star's biography. But painful memories and suppressed scandals are uncovered along with yesterday's triumphs.
The biographer is dazzled by flattery and numbed by threats. He is caught up in the big-daddy world where books are properties, films are investments, ratings are rigged, and stars and directors are bought and sold like slaves at an auction. It is only when the jigsaw pieces of Stone's life me set out before him that he begins to see that this is one story he won't be able to write — except by starting all over again.
Close-Up shows the same careful documentation, wealth of research and broad narrative sweep that distinguished Deighton's epic Bomber. Using cuttings, recordings, interviews, letters, diary entries, he has compiled a brilliant portrait of a star and the glittering machine of which he is a product and a victim.