A teenaged runaway fights for survival on “the boulevard of broken dreams” in this searing debut novel based on true stories. It’s always sunny in California until you walk on the wrong side of Sunset Boulevard. And yet the bright lights still call to thousands, and every day new arrivals fill the ranks of Hollywood’s underworld of teenage runaways and hopeful stars turned stoppers, hookers and street kids.
Their stories are too sad for society’s attention, but when a high-profile lawyer is murdered at the Chateau Marmont on Sunset Strip, lackluster detective Jimmy McCann takes to the streets and finds himself enmeshed in this complex web of prostitution and drugs, learning that the likely killer, a young girl named Casey, is a victim in her own right. Delving into Casey’s troubled community of runaways, characterized by abuse, rape, death and disease, but also by friendship, loyalty and love, Bill Guttentag has crafted a stunning literary crime novel—based on real-life incidents—that will resound with readers everywhere.
“A fun and fast read that reveals a darker slice of L.A. life that most have never heard about. Every character feels real, every situation loaded with telling detail and tension. You're surprised by how much you care about each character.”
–Scott Frank, screenwriter of Minority Report and Marley & Me
“Like Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, Boulevard begins with a murder. Most American novelists would stop there, but Bill Guttentag doesn’t flinch from anything. We know dreams die in Hollywood, but what happens then? Boulevard is a rare thing–a thriller that matters, that reveals, that makes us reexamine who we are.”
–David Vann, author of A Mile Down and Legend of a Suicide
“Boulevard is a fast-paced story with prose as jumpy and gritty as its characters. The novel is a stark look at the darker side of Hollywood streets, littered with broken glass and desperately real characters with a slim shot at very human dreams. Guttentag's keen eye for detail, brutal honesty, and unflinching vision make him an essential voice of our time.”
-Keith Scribner, author of The Good Life
“Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Guttentag unleashes considerable rage against L.A. in this heartfelt mystery set on the seedy side of the City of Angels...The introduction of an undercover cop provides welcome juice, and the plots collide in a way so surprising that, well, it would make a good movie.”
–Daniel Kraus, Booklist Online
“While the kids may be violent or oblivious to turning tricks, there’s a certain humanity here, a kinship and kindness that raises them above L.A.’s thin selection of characters. Throw in a detective with a runaway son of his own, a partner whose marriage is slipping away–in addition to orbiting pimps, self-important lawyers and small-time freaks aplenty–and you have a tale that gets major points for freshness and ambition. It’s engrossing, original, and comes with the Official True Crime Report Seal of Freshness.”
“A moving crime novel. Guttentag shows deft touch with detail as he chronicles an existence marked by moments of sheer panic. The action builds to a hopeful and satisfying conclusion.”
“At some point, most writers feel the tug to stretch beyond what they've previously written. That must be especially true of genre writers. Bill Guttentag's debut novel, "Boulevard," is billed as a literary crime novel, with "literary" suggesting that Guttentag wants to rouse his reader to care not only about solving the crime, but also about his characters. Guttentag succeeds, because one of his main characters is highly sympathetic. By revealing the identity of the murderer early on - a question that usually creates the main tension for a straightforward crime novel - Guttentag shifts the question to why Casey did it. Through Jimmy's perspective, the reader is exposed to a wider landscape of grittiness: the wannabe actresses working in sex clubs, the pimps and addicted gamblers. And the subculture of street kids brings in more pimps, johns, drug addicts. For long sections of the novel, the murder slips into the background, but that doesn't mean the tension drags. Guttentag's style is also cinematic, with short chapters that almost read like movie scenes - lots of action, often violent or sexual, and long passages of dialog. Guttentag manages to bring all the story lines together in a conclusion that leaves you morally conflicted, yet surprisingly satisfied.”
–San Francisco Chronicle
Whether you’re a politician caught with his pants down, an investment bank accused of accounting improprieties, or even a family-owned restaurant with a lousy Yelp review, a crisis doesn’t have to be the make-or-break moment of your career. Correctly managed, even the most embarrassing “reply all” can quickly become a thing of the past. In Masters of Disaster, Christopher Lehane and Mark Fabiani, reveal the magic formula you need to take control when it’s your turn to be sucked into the vortex of the modern spin cycle. Covering the ten commandments of damage control, and based on their work for clients like Bill Clinton, Goldman Sachs and Hollywood studios, the authors outline the strategies that can make real time news alerts, Twitter trend lines and viral videos work for you rather against you. Full of both lively personal anecdotes and hard-knuckled straight talk, this is a must-read for anyone who wants to emerge with their reputation intact.
“Masters of Disaster is the perfect playbook for how to respond when you're under enemy fire…a vital and fun read full of back-room tales for those who want to learn from America's greatest corporate and political scandals.”
—The Huffington Post
“A how-to brought to you by the guys who defended Clinton on impeachment.”
—The National Journal
"The go-to manual...Lehane and Fabiani are well positioned to distill the lessons of the baseball steroid scandal, Tiger Woods’s infidelities, and Anthony Weiner’s obscene tweets into clearly articulated principles."
—starred review, Publishers Weekly
“If you are a public figure, or even a private citizen who might engender controversy, read this book and put its authors on your speed dial. These guys are truly the masters not only of avoiding or minimizing disaster, but of dealing with the kind of crises faced by ordinary people when they first encounter the media, the law or the blood sport we call politics.”
—Alan M. Dershowitz, author of The Trials of Zion
“In a hostile climate where reputations and markets can be capriciously destroyed in seconds, the old chestnuts about crisis management don’t apply. What’s needed is perspective from the seasoned Masters of Disaster who understand that damage control is a temperamental art, not grade school science. A valuable addition to the modern crisis canon.”
—Eric Dezenhall, CEO Dezenhall Resources, Ltd. and author of Damage Control: The Essential Lessons of Crisis Management
"Every board, every manager and now almost every individual now faces the possibility of being swept up in a firestorm of media and mangled message. Masters of Disaster provides both sound rules and great examples of both the positive and negative kind to guide us all through to the best possible outcomes. The only danger is that you won't read it in advance. I recommend it to all my board colleagues and CEO friends."
—Howard Stevenson, Sarofim Rock Professor Emeritus, Harvard Business School
“Today crisis is common, and news of scandal, whether large or small, spreads rapidly. Through detailed case studies that focus on both those who have successfully overcome a crisis and those who have failed, Masters of Disaster offers essential insight into crisis management.”
—Ted Leonsis, owner of the Washington Capitols and Washington Wizards
"Managing the world's most famous sports franchise is never dull, and there are times when I've turned to and found valuable tactics from this crisis management playbook."
—Jeanie Buss, president, Los Angeles Lakers
"Think if you are not in the public eye, this book does not apply to you? Think again. Disaster will happen to all of us, when we least expect it. And if you are in the public eye — this is mandatory survival reading!"
—Guerrino De Luca, CEO of Logitech