Coked-up, sexed-up

The Hollywood Trilogy

Don Carpenter's The Hollywood Trilogy (Counterpoint, $18.95) is a reissue of three of the author's insider-Hollywood late '70s, early '80s-era novels. A Couple of Comedians follows comedy duo David and Jim from the Bay Area down to Hollywood where they work once a year on a movie, then perform their nightclub act. The True Life of Jody McKeegan is a diptych showing Jody first as a young girl in Portland, where her sister dies from an illegal abortion, then as a 35-year-old failed actress who lucks into romance with a producer. Turnaround, the weakest of the three, is most poignant when chronicling the journey of an aspiring screenwriter. All three novels are written with gritty reality; together they make for a coked-up, sexed-up bender of a collection.