me me me by David Huggins (Faber and Faber/Penguin), 224 pages, $24.99 paper. Rating: NNN Rating: NNNNN
who can resist a title like me me Me? Not me me me. You could call it a comedy of manners, except Me Me Me's subjects, the people of Tinseltown, don't have any. Ralph is the son of Larry, the star of a long-running 70s TV series, who is himself the son of an old-style acting legend -- a real movie star. Ralph's aunt is a stage diva playing Lady Macbeth in a suspect Hollywood production.
Actor/playwright Ralph lives in London, England, where's he's toiled in the fringes of the theatre community only to see his alt-troupe go under. He's been called to L.A. to help his grandfather write his memoirs.
Suddenly, the screen legend disappears. What to make of the fact that granddaddy's 20-something fiancée has disappeared, too? Will his aunt ever get her nose out of her navel, or can Larry get out of some babe's bed long enough to notice what's going on? Can Ralph escape without being discovered as a failure? Has anybody ever seen egos this big?
Sounds silly, but Huggins quotes heady philosophers and excellent movie-star memoirs (including recent T.O. visitor Kirk Douglas's The Ragman's Son) along the way, making this a smart book -- even if it is about stupid people .