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book cover of Home Movie

Home Movie

A novel by

Joey Taylor's childhood went awry somewhere. Now that she's alone, fourteen years old, her father dead, her mother gone adventuring, she sees the opportunity to bring herself up right. But just as she's getting started, Joey meets David Giffard, an eccentric loner whose mysterious habits draw her into his own strange and solitary life. Giffard gives her piano lessons and then begins to show her bits and pieces of a film that seems to hold a lesson, too, if she could just make sense of it. When at last she to learn the secret of this odd home movie, Joey sets off for Los Angeles to find the actor whose role in the film is somehow crucial to Giffard's story--and, now, to her own.

Along the way her path crosses those of a male stripper who wants no trouble, a dancer who wants to disappear, a philosophical truck driver who wants to settle down, and finally the hapless actor who bitterly wants out of the movie of Giffard's life. Joey's search involves them all in a story where certain knowledge surprises, recognition looks strange, and the only way to come home is to keep moving.

"Ellen Akins's Home Movie is a brilliant first novel, subtle, wise, and highly theatrical. Just off-stage : melodrama as intense and bizarre as anything in the best of the Hollywood weepies. Onstage: cool authorial maneuvers, stunning visuals, high rhetoric, virtuoso performances, and, beneath all its disguises, the nearest thing to a genuine novel of ideas seen in a very long time. Here, clearly, is an important new writer."
- Robert Coover

"Home Movie has the richness and tortured complexity of the youthful sensibility at its best."Terrence Rafferty, The New Yorker

"[A] vividly written, authoritative first novel."
- Devon Jersild, New York Times Book Review

"An ambitious first novel . . . Ellen Akins is a young writer with talent and promise, one who is attempting something different (and something more) than so many of her enervated peers."
- Francine Prose, Washington Post Book World

"A challenging, unorthodox novel of intellect."
- Richard Panek, Chicago Tribune

"Demanding but rewarding . . . . The narrative, with its theme of betrayal, spins out like life itself . . . . Thick with ideas and probing characterizations, the novel achieves a compelling power with its unrelenting attention to detail. An impressive debut."
- Publishers Weekly


Used availability for Ellen Akins's Home Movie

Hardback Editions

November 1988 : USA Hardback

Title: Home Movie
Author(s): Ellen Akins
ISBN: 0-671-66135-3 / 978-0-671-66135-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

March 2016 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Title: Home Movie
Author(s): Ellen Akins
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA