Double Feature - Owen King

A great deal of my enjoyment of this novel stems from my own life experiences. I'm a fan of independent movies; I had a rather crappy relationship with my father; I'm a fan of books wherein movie lore play a large role; and I have an affection for great writing. 


Other than a thirteen-page paragraph in the first part of this book, I have no other complaints about how Owen King handled Sam Dolan's story, or the bittersweet tale of Sam's mother, which is interspersed throughout the book, giving the whole double feature effect that the title promises. 


Unfortunately, everything that stands out in this book is a spoiler. I want you to read DOUBLE FEATURE, so I'll refrain from spoilerage. I didn't see many of the twists coming, and the one toward the end, when Sam realizes whose testicles he'd crushed, especially tricked me.


Owen's debut novel is hilarious, that is, if you appreciate intelligent dick and fart jokes. Is there such a thing? Well, do you enjoy Kevin Smith movies (the introspective ones, not COP OUT and JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK)? You do! Great. You'll dig this book. No? You say you can't stand the pudgy director from Red Bank, New Jersey who's responsible for Ben Affleck's acting career? Then ya might wanna skip this one. Yes, the book is filled with naughty language and awkward sexual references and a flatulent roommate, but it's also a touching drama with over-the-top characters who are easy to love even when you know you should hate them. 


I connected with Sam immediately. The way he lived in his father's shadow, how everyone seemed to adore his dad when the truth was Booth Dolan was an untrustworthy bullshit artist. How inattentive his father was. Sam wanted to direct a meaningful film to overshadow his father's B-movie past. I get that. After all, I'm a writer, and my father was illiterate. 


One last thing before I wrap this up. There's a character in this book named Rick Savini, who I mentioned in a status update reminded me of Steve Buschemi. After I made that update, I came across a section in the book where Savini checks into his hotel under the alias of Steven Pink. If you get it, good on you. I had a nice little chuckle. I love shit like that. 


In summation: I found this book endearing, heartbreaking, and laugh-out-loud funny. I'd recommend it to anyone who's a fan of understated indie or art house films, or anyone who simply enjoys damn fine writing.