In his quest for love and fame after trying to break into Hollywood as an actor, Harold Hall finds Eliah just when he can’t pay the rent and is on the brink of disaster, his car unjustly impounded by the DMV, his license revoked and his bike recently stolen. On his way to acting auditions between a job pretending to be Superman and working part-time as a waiter at Rising Sushi, fame finds Harold instead after he’s been video’d at the DMV pleading with all those there to rise up against inequity, and the social media goes wild over his speech . Eliah, who lives and works in Harold’s office building, feels sorry for him after he’s knocked out by another Superman, and thus their romance begins.
Noting wisely that Americans all believe that they can be famous (as they share their lives enthusiastically on Twitter and Facebook), Pete the Wolf thinks Harold may be perfect for his new social media project, and Harold longs for a starring role which would bring him up from the masses of toiling laborers. Pete’s program invites people to come to California (which is supposedly seceding from the United States) to be on Golden State Broadcasting, communicating their own ideas about who they are. “We will promise them development folks who will help them create a brand of themselves. Their success comes in the form of following. The more followers, the better you live. The underlying thought here is that most people would give up what’s left of their normal lives for a shot at Hollywood.” Although this begins as just a premise for a program, later it becomes much more.
Harold wants to create memories with Eliah, but she answers, “I have no room for memories.” Harold muses, “I think that’s when you know if you love someone – or at least if you feel her in your heart. That moment when you see cialis that you don’t agree on what the world’s all about, but you know sure as hell that there’s no place you’d rather be than next to her.” Eliah doesn’t even like to be photographed (wanting j to live completely in the moment), after an unfortunate incident in her past, the death of her parents in a car accident. Harold and Eliah are together but are vastly different, as Eliah has great business acumen, writing papers for rich California college kids and learning as much as she can for herself along the way, while Harold wants a place in movie history.
Unwittingly, Harold continues to gain publicity by being in the right place at the right time, sometimes with Eliah, but the Snow Queen (a producer of Pete the Wolf’s program) asks, “What’s inside of you?” and wants Harold to pay an inordinately high price for the fame he’s always wanted. The Snow Queen tells Harold, “None of us are who we say we are. We are our own projections. These clothes, hairstyles, the way we dress — all of it together is about what we project as our truth, our way of being in the world. Harold knows that “We’ve ended up at this point in our lives as the person we’ve become, not the person we thought we were.” Will Harold be able to sacrifice his entire self for his desire?
Christopher Herz, as a novelist, is a social explorer, reflecting to us our lives in present-day America. In Hollywood Forever he also sensitively probes the nature of identity and the lengths to which everyone responds to depth and meaning. This is his best novel novel to date and I’m certain there will be many more to come from this trailblazer in the future as his fingers continue to press on the pulse of our post-modern world.
Reviewed By Christina Zawadiwsky
Christina Zawadiwsky is Ukrainian-American, born in New York City, has a degree in Fine Arts, and is a poet, artist, journalist, critic and TV producer. She has received a National Endowment For The Arts award, two Wisconsin Arts Board awards, a Co-Ordinating Council Of Literary Magazines Award, and an Art Futures Award, among other honors. She was the originator and producer of Where The Waters Meet, a local TV series created to facilitate the voices of artists of all genres in the media, for which she won two national and twenty local awards, including a Commitment To Community Television Award. She is also a contributing editor to the annual Pushcart Prize Anthology (and has received one herself), the recipient of an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Wisconsin Library Association, and has published many books of poetry and has had poetry and fiction
in hundreds of literary periodicals. She has reviewed music for Music Room Reviews, films for Movie Room Reviews, Movie Scribes, and FilmSay, and is currently reviewing books and films online for Book Room Reviews at www.bookroomreviews.com while also showing artwork professionally.