Leading Men

Leading Men

Christopher Castellani / Jun 18, 2019

Leading Men Spectacular moving beautifully written and a bona fide page turner Publishers Weekly Starred Review An extraordinary book Lauren Groff author of FloridaAn expansive yet intimate stor

  • Title: Leading Men
  • Author: Christopher Castellani
  • ISBN: 0525559051
  • Page: 151
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Spectacular moving, beautifully written, and a bona fide page turner Publishers Weekly, Starred Review An extraordinary book Lauren Groff, author of FloridaAn expansive yet intimate story of desire, artistic ambition, and fidelity, set in the glamorous literary and film circles of 1950s ItalyIn July of 1953, at a glittering party thrown by Truman Capote in Por Spectacular moving, beautifully written, and a bona fide page turner Publishers Weekly, Starred Review An extraordinary book Lauren Groff, author of FloridaAn expansive yet intimate story of desire, artistic ambition, and fidelity, set in the glamorous literary and film circles of 1950s ItalyIn July of 1953, at a glittering party thrown by Truman Capote in Portofino, Italy, Tennessee Williams and his longtime lover Frank Merlo meet Anja Blomgren, a mysteriously taciturn young Swedish beauty and aspiring actress Their encounter will go on to alter all of their lives.Ten years later, Frank revisits the tempestuous events of that fateful summer from his deathbed in Manhattan, where he waits anxiously for Tennessee to visit him one final time Anja, now legendary film icon Anja Bloom, lives as a recluse in the present day U.S until a young man connected to the events of 1953 lures her reluctantly back into the spotlight after he discovers she possesses the only surviving copy of Williams s final play.What keeps two people together and what breaks them apart Can we save someone else if we can t save ourselves Like The Master and The Hours, Leading Men seamlessly weaves fact and fiction to navigate the tensions between public figures and their private lives In an ultimately heartbreaking story about the burdens of fame and the complex negotiations of life in the shadows of greatness, Castellani creates an unforgettable leading lady in Anja Bloom and reveals the hidden machinery of one of the great literary love stories of the twentieth century Get A Copy Kindle Store CAOnline StoresAudibleBarnes NobleWalmart eBooksApple BooksGoogle PlayAbebooksBook DepositoryIndigoAlibrisBetter World BooksIndieBoundLibraries Or buy for Hardcover, 368 pages Expected publication February 12th 2019 by Viking More Details ISBN 0525559051 ISBN13 9780525559054 Other Editions 4 All Editions Add a New Edition Combine Less Detail edit details Friend Reviews To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up Reader QA To ask other readers questions about Leading Men, please sign up

    Be the first to ask a question about Leading Men

    Lists with This Book Historical Fiction 2019 280 books 274 voters Books with Authors as Characters 104 books 8 voters More lists with this book Community Reviews Showing 1 30 Rating details Sort Default Filter Oct 27, 2018 Tammy rated it really liked it Beginning in 1953 some of the glitterati of the literati are the leading men of this novel The big names here are Tennessee Williams and the malicious gossip Truman Capote he makes only a few appearances The other two leading men are Williams partner assistant nursemaid the good natured and reliable, Frank Merlo, and the lesser known author John Horne Burns As he lay dying in 1963, Merlo revisits a tumultuous summer with Williams and his role as bit player standing in the massive shadow of Beginning in 1953 some of the glitterati of the literati are the leading men of this novel The big names here are Tennessee Williams and the malicious gossip Truman Capote he makes only a few appearances The other two leading men are Williams partner assistant nursemaid the good natured and reliable, Frank Merlo, and the lesser known author John Horne Burns As he lay dying in 1963, Merlo revisits a tumultuous summer with Williams and his role as bit player standing in the massive shadow of the renowned playwright It is during this summer that Williams and Merlo meet the soon to become iconic actress, Anja, who tells her portion of the tale as an old woman living in seclusion The movement throughout the book from one narrator to the other is flawless although Merlo s story is considerably compelling A blend of fact and fiction, Leading Men reflects upon art, fame, longing and loyalty set against the bewitching backdrop of 1950 s Italy This is a genuinely poignant literary love story Did you know that Williams years with Merlo were his most productive I didn t flag 55 likesLike see review View all 18 comments Tammy Deanna wrote Great review, Tammy Thanks much, Deanna 10 hours, 10 min ago Mary Beth Traveling Sister Fab review, Tammy 8 hours, 33 min ago Jan 23, 2019 Jennifer rated it it was amazing Shelves first reads program, favorites I received this book through the First Reads giveaway program.I believe one of the signs of a truly exceptional novel is that it springboards a desire within the reader to explore even works of literature This book has certainly done that for me Serendipity would say that this book landed in my mailbox just as I finished watching a movie about Truman Capote Along comes this beautifully profound novel about Tennessee Williams and the other literary geniuses of the day I now want to devou I received this book through the First Reads giveaway program.I believe one of the signs of a truly exceptional novel is that it springboards a desire within the reader to explore even works of literature This book has certainly done that for me Serendipity would say that this book landed in my mailbox just as I finished watching a movie about Truman Capote Along comes this beautifully profound novel about Tennessee Williams and the other literary geniuses of the day I now want to devour everything written by not only this particular author, but each one mentioned in the book That is what great writing inspires us to Thank you so much for a glimpse into the past, but also a chance to read from some of the literary greats Each man kills the thing he loves The killing is not voluntary, but we sure as hell do it And burn for it flag 13 likesLike see review View all 4 comments Jan 30, 2019 Marialyce added it review of another edition Shelves books of 2019, netgalley, dnf This one held no appeal to me I tried to get into it but gave up at the 20% point flag 11 likesLike see review Tammy Oh no Sorry you weren t engaged I really liked it Jan 30, 2019 05 46AM Marialyce Tammy wrote Oh no Sorry you weren t engaged I really liked it I was disappointed that I just had no enthusiasm for it I am glad you loved it, Tam Tammy wrote Oh no Sorry you weren t engaged I really liked it I was disappointed that I just had no enthusiasm for it I am glad you loved it, Tammy Jan 30, 2019 01 54PM JanB It s good to know when to hang it up early And I know you have moved on to a fabulous book Jan 30, 2019 03 02PM Nov 08, 2018 Crystal King rated it it was amazing Shelves italy, literary, historical fiction Castellani s first three novels captivated me thoroughly but Leading Men took all my emotions and ratcheted them up a level I can t stop thinking about this book I fell in love with Frank Merlo and Anja Bloom, with Tennesee William s Italian jet setting ways, with the backdrop of 1950s Italy, with all of it The book is beautifully written, so much so that now that I have read it to feel wrapped up in the story, I intend to read it again for the craft of it I want to understand how he turns t Castellani s first three novels captivated me thoroughly but Leading Men took all my emotions and ratcheted them up a level I can t stop thinking about this book I fell in love with Frank Merlo and Anja Bloom, with Tennesee William s Italian jet setting ways, with the backdrop of 1950s Italy, with all of it The book is beautifully written, so much so that now that I have read it to feel wrapped up in the story, I intend to read it again for the craft of it I want to understand how he turns those gorgeous phrases, how he uses POV to unwrap the most delicate parts of the story, how he colors the world so the reader feels like they are a part of it Bravo, Christopher Castellani, bravo flag 10 likesLike see review View 2 comments Sep 29, 2018 Whitney Scharer rated it it was amazing Italy, a booze soaked party thrown by Truman Capote, a mysterious Swedish film star, and the gorgeous love story between Tennessee Williams and Frank Merlo what s not to adore about this novel From the first page, I was swept into the rich and mesmerizing world of Castellani s LEADING MEN, and enjoyed it right up to its incredibly moving and satisfying ending This ambitious novel has a rich cast of characters and whisks you from 1950s Italy in the 1950s to Manhattan in the 1960s to the theate Italy, a booze soaked party thrown by Truman Capote, a mysterious Swedish film star, and the gorgeous love story between Tennessee Williams and Frank Merlo what s not to adore about this novel From the first page, I was swept into the rich and mesmerizing world of Castellani s LEADING MEN, and enjoyed it right up to its incredibly moving and satisfying ending This ambitious novel has a rich cast of characters and whisks you from 1950s Italy in the 1950s to Manhattan in the 1960s to the theater world in Provincetown, Massachusetts, all while exploring themes of love, fidelity, and the challenges of forging one s own identity while in a partnership with a creative genius I loved it flag 6 likesLike see review Jan 13, 2019 Kyra Leseberg Roots Reads rated it liked it Shelves arc They say artists crave immortality I say we don t give a fuck about the next life It s this one we want of In the summer of 1953, American writer Tennessee Williams and his lover Frank Merlo attend a wild party in Italy hosted by Truman Capote It s there that they meet the beautiful aspiring actress Anja Blomgren and their lives change forever.Tenn and Frank travel Italy with Anja and her mother, as well as writer Jack Horne and his lover Sandro After hiking to a remote cliff, the They say artists crave immortality I say we don t give a fuck about the next life It s this one we want of In the summer of 1953, American writer Tennessee Williams and his lover Frank Merlo attend a wild party in Italy hosted by Truman Capote It s there that they meet the beautiful aspiring actress Anja Blomgren and their lives change forever.Tenn and Frank travel Italy with Anja and her mother, as well as writer Jack Horne and his lover Sandro After hiking to a remote cliff, they find themselves surrounded by a group of boys and a fight breaks out as the group attacks Anja and her mother Anja interpreted Suddenly Last Summer as Tenn s revenge on her for going beyond him in fame, as her punishment for not following behind him begging for scraps like an American actress Though haunted by the act of violence on the cliff, Anja goes on to become a celebrated actress thanks to the help of Tenn and Frank that summer in Italy.She loved Frank and kept in touch with him through his long illness while Tenn distanced himself from Frank as his condition grew worse Tenn paid for Frank s radiation and care but could not bring himself to sit by his side as he died.In the present day, Anja has become a recluse in the U.S A young man unexpectedly contacts her and she discovers he s connected to the events of that fateful summer in Italy.When the young man learns that Anja possesses the sole copy of the final play ever written by Tennnessee Williams, he begs her to step back in the spotlight one final time to share it with the world.The problem is that the play is personal it shares a part of Tenn that he never shared with anyone and it holds a great deal of hurt for Anja who never forgave Tenn for abandoning Frank when he needed him most.Leading Men does a fantastic job of seamlessly alternating narrators and time periods while weaving fact and fiction to detail a very complicated literary love story.The writing was absolutely phenomenal I wanted to highlight so many of the lovely and compelling passages Unfortunately I never connected with any of the characters While they are described in great detail there was something that prevented me from finding dimension to the characters and because of that I wasn t invested in the story itself.Thanks to Viking and Edelweiss for providing me with a DRC in exchange for an honest review Leading Men is scheduled for release on February 12, 2019 Quotes included are from an advance readers copy and are subject to change upon final publication.For reviews, visit rootsandreads.wordpress flag 6 likesLike see review Marialyce Sorry, Kyra, that this book was not a better story with a connecting for you I have this one sitting on my kindle unread, yet Jan 25, 2019 09 46AM Kyra Leseberg Roots Reads Marialyce wrote Sorry, Kyra, that this book was not a better story with a connecting for you I have this one sitting on my kindle unread, yet I m Marialyce wrote Sorry, Kyra, that this book was not a better story with a connecting for you I have this one sitting on my kindle unread, yet I m so disappointed I couldn t connect with the characters because it truly is a beautifully written story I hope it works better for you, Marialyce Jan 27, 2019 11 34AM Jan 31, 2019 Lisa rated it it was amazing I finished this exquisite novel yesterday and can t stop thinking about it Christopher Castellani expertly balances three main time periods the wine soaked days Tennessee Williams and his partner Frank Merlo spent in Italy in the 1950s with a cast of characters both fictional the actress Anja Bloom and real Truman Capote Merlo s last days in the early 1960s and the present day, where an elderly Anja is forced to confront the past The writing itself is dazzling, the stories in all time I finished this exquisite novel yesterday and can t stop thinking about it Christopher Castellani expertly balances three main time periods the wine soaked days Tennessee Williams and his partner Frank Merlo spent in Italy in the 1950s with a cast of characters both fictional the actress Anja Bloom and real Truman Capote Merlo s last days in the early 1960s and the present day, where an elderly Anja is forced to confront the past The writing itself is dazzling, the stories in all time frames compelling But it s the portrait of Merlo that touched me the most Always in Tennessee s shadow in life, Castellani has elevated him, with this novel, to the role of leading man flag 4 likesLike see review Leah DeCesare I m nearly done and completely agree with your beautiful review, Lisa Feb 01, 2019 05 50PM Dec 01, 2018 Rebecca rated it really liked it Shelves books read in 2018 4.5 How I wish allowed.5 s This is one of those rare books where I actually slowed down while reading to stay with the characters longer All of them are so lovingly rendered, realistically and some times painfully, Frank broke my heart The story told is the relationship between Tennessee Williams and Frank Merlo, with sections that move back and forth between their time spent in Italy and abroad in the 1950 s while Williams was writing some of his best plays, and current times in 4.5 How I wish allowed.5 s This is one of those rare books where I actually slowed down while reading to stay with the characters longer All of them are so lovingly rendered, realistically and some times painfully, Frank broke my heart The story told is the relationship between Tennessee Williams and Frank Merlo, with sections that move back and forth between their time spent in Italy and abroad in the 1950 s while Williams was writing some of his best plays, and current times in which their friend, Anja, struggles with the task of honoring her friends memory This book has that page turning magic that walks the fine line between historical staging and gossip, which allows the reader to engage with the book on a very personal level at times feeling like you are one of the gang yourself It is also a departure from Castellani s family based stories but the care and empathy that Castellani brings to all his characters is on full display By far his best work This is a book about Love, Craft, Muses, Societal Norms and Beautiful Landscapes As a bookseller I can t wait to put this in one in readers hands flag 4 likesLike see review Dec 08, 2018 Bandit rated it liked it Traditionally I enjoy historical fiction and ones revolving around real life characters are all the interesting and yet this one was a drag, no pun intended, despite the fact that a drag queen saves the day toward the end of the book I tried and tried Something about the gay romantic lives of famous authors just didn t do it for me I don t think it was the setting, post WWII Italy and present day NYC and Provincetown are great literary destinations So it has to be down to the characters Traditionally I enjoy historical fiction and ones revolving around real life characters are all the interesting and yet this one was a drag, no pun intended, despite the fact that a drag queen saves the day toward the end of the book I tried and tried Something about the gay romantic lives of famous authors just didn t do it for me I don t think it was the setting, post WWII Italy and present day NYC and Provincetown are great literary destinations So it has to be down to the characters And the limelight of that show belongs to Tenn and Frank, the famous author and playwright and his lover of 15 years You get to follow their tumultuous on and off affair through the years, continents and other men Because, yeah, they slept around like crazy, sometimes competitively Yet they went on, the melodramatic Tennessee and the optimistic Frank The latter is obviously meant to be the likeable one here, but overall their great love affair just didn t work for me Or for them, for that matter Although their years together were the most productive of Tennessee s life It fact it didn t even seem like a great love affair it was meant to be, like a severely dysfunctional relationship Unless relationships between two men have different standards The entire thing actually the languorous decadence of the literati s lifestyles, just didn t sing for me Everyone came off superficial and tedious Except for maybe Anja Bloom, the glue that holds the story and the main couple together in a way Ms Bloom is a fictionalized version of Liv Ullmann, her perspective carries the novel into present day, where she is very old and very wealthy and decides to put on a play to commemorate Frank and Tenn And yes, the novel does feature a complete and completely fabricated unknown Tennessee s play And yes, it s no fun, neither the play nor the fact that it s stuck in there But Anja Bloom has layers, she s fascinating and possibly the most developed character in the book Which is ironic or at least very strange that the fictional ish person should be interesting, likeable and compelling that the real ones So that s the book I really tried to like it, but mostly managed a sort of academic appreciation It s well written, proper literature and all that, but so very slow and difficult to care about It s possible I m just not the right audience for it Christopher Castellani as an author himself and a gay man has obviously found the story much relatable as the afterword leads us to believe and so this book was a labor of love for him And Tennessee fans would probably find this interesting also It is, after all a good story, but for me an article or a short form novella at most would have sufficed Thanks Netgalley flag 3 likesLike see review Jan 30, 2019 Kales rated it really liked it Shelves 4 star, arc, lgbtq, historical fiction, mental health, fiction 4.5 This is a solid, deep and moving book Despite being a playwright and a theater student, I knew little about the works of Tennessee Williams beyond Streetcar and Glass Menagerie Honestly, I first picked up this book because it starts at a party held by Truman Capote and I m a sucker for a good historical fiction with Capote And this amazing story did not disappoint.The language and voice of each character was well portrayed You got a sense of each individual, fictional or real, and how 4.5 This is a solid, deep and moving book Despite being a playwright and a theater student, I knew little about the works of Tennessee Williams beyond Streetcar and Glass Menagerie Honestly, I first picked up this book because it starts at a party held by Truman Capote and I m a sucker for a good historical fiction with Capote And this amazing story did not disappoint.The language and voice of each character was well portrayed You got a sense of each individual, fictional or real, and how they complimented and destroyed each other I loved the blend of past and present, as Anja and Frank s lives came to an end Because you knew what we were heading for, the end however that was meant to turn out And it was sad, hard but beautiful.The relationships were fascinating to me It was a fascinating window into gay culture of the time as well as dominant vs placating personalities But not in a harmful way sure, there were some abuses of power, it was bound to happen I thoroughly appreciated the author s note at the end The idea of man kills the thing he loves is well portrayed and evident in the destruction and re construction of these relationships, romantic or no.Finally, I appreciated this notion of ambition It was an undertone in both Frank and Anja that ebbed and flowed in their journeys This notion of playing second fiddle to people like Williams and Capote, but then when Anja gets her taste of brilliance and fame, the continuous chase of itwhile Frank abandons it upon the first sign of failure It s well done and fascinating I liked the honesty of it.At points, the book was slow and there were times I was looking for of a structured plot forgetting why I was reading about these characters I m a plot person, but I was captivated by these characters and once you got into the rhythm of their voices, you realized the plot was maybe subtler than one would have liked but still present and strong I think this is a great historical fiction read, great for fans of Melanie Benjamin or Paula McLain It allows you into the underbelly of a supposedly glamorous and brilliant time, and those that lived it And I appreciated its honesty.Conclusion Buy the hardcover already shared the ARC with a co worker flag 2 likesLike see review Oct 20, 2018 Rachel rated it it was amazing A stunning meditation on love, fame and art Castellani asks, Do we not play our parts every minute of every day, even when we are alone By toggling between memory, letters and the stage he digs into the indispensable question of how we define the past and future and even ourselves He left me reeling and I loved it Read this book flag 2 likesLike see review Dec 11, 2018 Kim McGee rated it liked it The story of the great love affair between playwright Tennesse Williams and Frank Merlo is one of hidden desires, public discretion, and unfinished business It is a look at what it takes to love a genius, someone with a great talent and even greater ego in a time of great talent and secrets This is a close look at some very famous couples and their friends, some equally talented and most just wanting to be part of the glamour The underlying theme of this book is peeling the layers back on wha The story of the great love affair between playwright Tennesse Williams and Frank Merlo is one of hidden desires, public discretion, and unfinished business It is a look at what it takes to love a genius, someone with a great talent and even greater ego in a time of great talent and secrets This is a close look at some very famous couples and their friends, some equally talented and most just wanting to be part of the glamour The underlying theme of this book is peeling the layers back on what the public saw and what their private life was really like The highs of great love and creativity are balanced with bouts of depression and loss Beautifully phrased this story is understated but full of deep emotion underneath If you listen carefully you can hear the clicking of the typewriter keys, the clink of ice cubes in a drink too early in the day and the soft crying of a broken heart My thanks to the publisher for the advance copy flag 1 likeLike see review Jan 02, 2019 Kalen rated it really liked it Shelves 2019 reads I liked this book 4 stars liked it but something was missing for me and I can t put my finger on what Still, solid way to start the year and I m looking forward to digging into Castellani s backlist now flag 1 likeLike see review Nov 05, 2018 Jeanne Blasberg rated it it was amazing This book was ground breaking for me in many ways The structure was brilliant, but than that was the rendering of the relationships so difficult to define with societal lexicon which suffered because there was no acceptable construct There was so much love and caring between Frank and Tennessee and between Frank and Anja, but because these relationships were outside the norm, they were terribly vulnerable and subject to uproar Never before have I read and empathized with characters w This book was ground breaking for me in many ways The structure was brilliant, but than that was the rendering of the relationships so difficult to define with societal lexicon which suffered because there was no acceptable construct There was so much love and caring between Frank and Tennessee and between Frank and Anja, but because these relationships were outside the norm, they were terribly vulnerable and subject to uproar Never before have I read and empathized with characters who faced such exclusion from what was mainstream with regard to legitimizing relationships Living in the shadow of a great artist, Frank Merlo won my heart I truly rooted for him and in the end wept for him.Besides providing an incredible lens into undefinable relationships there was the extreme fun of being in post war Italy and gaining a glimpse into the private lives and social lives of people like Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote The insertion of screen play and and the alternating time lines something I really love made this book different, ambitious, and hard to put down I can t wait to discuss it with other readers flag 1 likeLike see review Oct 02, 2018 Chuck Selvaggio rated it it was amazing Chris Castellani s Leading Men beckons the reader deeply into the world with such beauty and originality that we are both in awe of his incredible talents that open so many private doors and of his abilities to risk such originality with just the right perspective to avoid overindulgence and sentimentality I was unmoored by his characters both historical and fictional as they beautifully unfolded and revealed universal truths about the underbelly of fame as well as about the salvation of l Chris Castellani s Leading Men beckons the reader deeply into the world with such beauty and originality that we are both in awe of his incredible talents that open so many private doors and of his abilities to risk such originality with just the right perspective to avoid overindulgence and sentimentality I was unmoored by his characters both historical and fictional as they beautifully unfolded and revealed universal truths about the underbelly of fame as well as about the salvation of loving hearts At the center of the novel is the relationship between Tennessee Williams and Frank Merlot, his longtime lover, a wrestling match both of love s boundlessness and the limitations that all the trappings of stardom and its inevitable insecurities bring Whether the word Leading in the title is a verb or an adjective, Leading Men ultimately begs big questions of both its characters and of the reader, something that only very fine literature can do This is truly a wonderful novel from a first rate writer flag 1 likeLike see review Nov 14, 2018 Katherine Sherbrooke rated it it was amazing Shelves historial, women protagonists I absolutely loved this book Castellani s writing is incredible stopping me in my tracks many times over in order to fully appreciate the nuance he brings to descriptions, whether physical or emotional But importantly, this is a story of the human condition The Italian coastline and backstage look into the lives of artists like Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote give the story a compelling context, but it is the human stories of Frank Morelo and Anja Bloom that will grab your heart a I absolutely loved this book Castellani s writing is incredible stopping me in my tracks many times over in order to fully appreciate the nuance he brings to descriptions, whether physical or emotional But importantly, this is a story of the human condition The Italian coastline and backstage look into the lives of artists like Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote give the story a compelling context, but it is the human stories of Frank Morelo and Anja Bloom that will grab your heart and not let go The book manages to encompass one short summer and a lifetime all in one gulp, the intensities that come with love, lust and potential triumph and the realities of longing, loss and the long walk through life I just finished and feel compelled to open back up to page 1 Truly fantastic flag 1 likeLike see review Jan 08, 2019 Austin Broussard rated it it was amazing I received an advanced copy of Leading Men as part of my job as an independent bookseller I m a long time fan of Tennessee Williams I feel the need to admit to that up front and where art and fandom intersect the path forward forks in only two distinct ways Adoration or revulsion The stars on this review already indicate which path I took, I know, but I just wanted to first consider the risks taken those always taken when reducing the life of a mythic figure to a fictional representation It I received an advanced copy of Leading Men as part of my job as an independent bookseller I m a long time fan of Tennessee Williams I feel the need to admit to that up front and where art and fandom intersect the path forward forks in only two distinct ways Adoration or revulsion The stars on this review already indicate which path I took, I know, but I just wanted to first consider the risks taken those always taken when reducing the life of a mythic figure to a fictional representation It boils down to capturing a life in character and placing that character in the right kind of story Recognizably is quick currency for storytelling and the biopics abound, both cinematic and literary, not all of them leading readers down a path of adoration The story might ultimately fail them The words put in their mouths might come out sour There might be a lost script by that author inserted into the story, and then, well, that script has got to sound like that author And there are only two ways this can go adoration or revulsion But I adored this novel, and just wanted to admire the height of the tightrope Leading Men is a story told through two key people in Tennessee s life Frank Merlo, Tenn s fifteen year lover and stalwart, who leads us through the world of 1950s Italy as he hustles for a place among the decade s artistic greats and Anja Bloom, a mythic but fading film actress living in our present, who, after a figure from her past reemerges, reveals that she is in possession of a lost Tennessee Williams play what may possibly be the last thing he ever wrote.Tenn is ultimately a supporting character, but an expertly crafted one such tenderness, love, bitchiness, heart the exchanges between him and Capote warmed my big fat queeny heart But we only experience Tenn through the views and attitudes of these two characters, Frank being the most intimate but Anja getting the last word Ultimately the novel calls back an icon but leaves him just out of the spotlight and it works even for a fan like me The novel asks you to consider Tenn as others would have, from the outside You aren t a reader of his thoughts you re inserted as an onlooker and admirer in an unforgiving world of literary fame In celebrity every artist is a both genius and a real piece of work But intimacy does come Chapters oscillating between two time periods is becoming an increasingly common convention in contemporary storytelling, and if you ve already had enough of the back and forth from other stories then don t look here for a respite But a convention being frequent doesn t necessarily presuppose poor performance The oscillations function like cuts between a wide angle and soft focus lens In the past we are tight on Frank Merlo and the present is a tracking shot of old Anja Bloom The back and forth isn t used for a slow revelation of plot punchlines in a typical way the flashback reveals he s actually her long lost father , but it allows for our understanding of Frank and Anja to be in an incessant state of evolution, as they are both subject in their story and character for another s world It nuances Much of what vivifies Frank and Anja as characters comes from their experiences of each other, and the way they press themselves against the window of the world As spectators at this window we are asked to consider the relationship between artists and their creations, between audiences and art The intimate drama at center stage only adds to a larger picture that asks us to consider our responsibility to art, and whether or not redemption is possible through it You make art because of the people you love you make art about the people you love Representations can never be anything but fiction But fiction is all we have flag Like see review Jan 30, 2019 Lorri Steinbacher rated it really liked it Castellani s Leading Men is everything biographical fiction should be I am a sucker for fiction with a biographical bent, maybe I am too lazy to read an in depth biography or maybe I just prefer fiction, but for whatever reason, I will read anything fictional about a real life subject, even if I often end up disappointed by a point by point rehashing of a subject s life with fanciful, but rarely fully fleshed out, fictional sidetrips Leading Men is a book that brings Frank Merlo vibrantly to Castellani s Leading Men is everything biographical fiction should be I am a sucker for fiction with a biographical bent, maybe I am too lazy to read an in depth biography or maybe I just prefer fiction, but for whatever reason, I will read anything fictional about a real life subject, even if I often end up disappointed by a point by point rehashing of a subject s life with fanciful, but rarely fully fleshed out, fictional sidetrips Leading Men is a book that brings Frank Merlo vibrantly to life In the process you learn about Tennessee Williams, you get a glimpse of Truman Capote, but this story is really about Frank What is it like to be a helpmeet to a famous, and famously troubled, man How do you inhabit that role when it is hidden in euphemism, unacknowledged by society Frank Merlo was Williams companion during the years when he wrote his most famous and enduring plays That means something and yet you may never have known Frank Merlo s name if not Castellani bringing him to life Castellani also does the nearly impossible creating an original character around which to build Frank s story that feels real and completely of the story You believe that Anya existed She is not just plausible, but vital That the true action of the book is set in gorgeous sun drenched Italy, that you get a little frisson of rubbing elbows with the literary elite is a bonus.Recommended for readers who don t think they like biographical fiction This might change your mind flag Like see review Jan 24, 2019 Jim rated it really liked it Easy and enjoyable read, the book transitions easily between three distinct periods in the characters lives without losing the plot The ending really clinched it for me, although I felt like there were a few things lacking 1 There s a play within a play portion of the book, but you never get the audience reaction to the performance2 The female lead s familial relationships are left very up in the air, including with both parents and some aunts This could have been purposeful to give her mor Easy and enjoyable read, the book transitions easily between three distinct periods in the characters lives without losing the plot The ending really clinched it for me, although I felt like there were a few things lacking 1 There s a play within a play portion of the book, but you never get the audience reaction to the performance2 The female lead s familial relationships are left very up in the air, including with both parents and some aunts This could have been purposeful to give her of an independent personality, but the impression I had was that her parental relationships shaped the character a lot in ways that weren t fully fleshed outThat being said, the above doesn t really detract from the story, and learning that much of the novel is based in fact and drawn from firsthand accounts made it even enjoyable for me flag Like see review Jan 24, 2019 Michelle Arredondo rated it it was amazing Historical fiction beautifully written A captivating story with all the right characters to move this book along and deliver a wonderful ending 1950 s and 60 s different timesdifferent places.o men, Tennessee Williams and Frank Merlodynamic love affairchallenges that are both beautiful and heartbreaking Practically every line in this book whisked me away into a time I have never been and have only imagined Wax poetic many exquisite quotes There are so many great reviews for Historical fiction beautifully written A captivating story with all the right characters to move this book along and deliver a wonderful ending 1950 s and 60 s different timesdifferent places.o men, Tennessee Williams and Frank Merlodynamic love affairchallenges that are both beautiful and heartbreaking Practically every line in this book whisked me away into a time I have never been and have only imagined Wax poetic many exquisite quotes There are so many great reviews for this bookand it deserves every single one of them A fantastic read that never leaves you.Highly recommend.Thanks to , author Christopher Castellani, and to Viking Press for my free copy of this book won via giveaway I received I read I reviewed this book honestly and voluntarily flag Like see review Jan 11, 2019 Cheryl D rated it it was amazing I wasn t sure what to think when I opened the package and then read the jacket My first thought another one of this truth fiction historical novelsho hum Ho Hum couldn t begin to describe this superbly written story which gives an inkling into the lives of writing royalty Beautifully crafted characters and smooth as silk writing make this book one that you will savor as you slowly discover the nuances of each of the main characters This is a keeper on my permanent bookshelf I received I wasn t sure what to think when I opened the package and then read the jacket My first thought another one of this truth fiction historical novelsho hum Ho Hum couldn t begin to describe this superbly written story which gives an inkling into the lives of writing royalty Beautifully crafted characters and smooth as silk writing make this book one that you will savor as you slowly discover the nuances of each of the main characters This is a keeper on my permanent bookshelf I received this book through the giveaway contest Thanks for the pleasure spent devouring the pages of this lovely novel flag Like see review Dec 24, 2018 Sasha rated it really liked it First I would like to state that I received this book through the giveaway in exchange for an honest review I would like to thank the author for giving me this opportunity and honor in being able to read this book When I received this book I began reading it at once The plot flowed along smoothly keeping you turning the pages wanting to read It has very well laid out and interesting characters I really enjoy the authors writing style It was a very enjoyable book and feel tha First I would like to state that I received this book through the giveaway in exchange for an honest review I would like to thank the author for giving me this opportunity and honor in being able to read this book When I received this book I began reading it at once The plot flowed along smoothly keeping you turning the pages wanting to read It has very well laid out and interesting characters I really enjoy the authors writing style It was a very enjoyable book and feel that others will feel so also It is a must read and one I will be reading over and over again flag Like see review Oct 23, 2018 Tory rated it it was ok Shelves 2018, dnf, historical fiction 2.5 I kept forcing myself through the grown up Anja sections because I really enjoyed the past scenes of Frank, Tennessee, Truman, and all the other fabulous writers and their friends and parties, but upon discovering at the 60% mark that I was then going to have to read an embedded play, that was it for me I couldn t force it any longer Sorry y all flag Like see review Dec 30, 2018 Donna Wetzel rated it it was ok Shelves first reads Thanks for my copy of Leading Men by Christopher Castellani I will say the book was well written however the subject matter was boring I tried to get all the way through this book but I ended up giving up eventually There wasn t the gossip that I expected from this book and there wasn t much going on with the characters to hold my interest flag Like see review Oct 30, 2018 Brian rated it it was amazing As an avid fan of Tennessee Williams and biographies memoirs by and about him, I was excited to see a focus on Frank Merlot and others around Williams This is a brilliant fictionalization of this moment and the incredible surroundings these folks sought out I devoured it and loved it I suspect it will be a book club hit since there is so much to dig into but also just a hit in general flag Like see review Jan 16, 2019 Michele Ferrari rated it it was amazing A beautiful and layered exploration of men s relationships, and of the complexity of love, fame, power, and vulnerability in a lush mid 20th century setting The Williams Merlo love story is juxtaposed with the current day staging of a lost Williams play The balance between the two periods deepens the story and gives the reader a deeper sense of how the historical moment impacted the relationship An important and gorgeous book flag Like see review Jan 24, 2019 Exapno Mapcase rated it really liked it This is a First Reads review.This is a really well done, atmospheric journey with some familiar faces Castellani takes the reader and immerses them in a bucolic setting and strong characters flag Like see review Oct 17, 2018 James Beggarly rated it it was amazing Wonderful book that gives Frank Merlo, Tennessee Williams long time love, the chance to tell his story as Williams is trying to finish the script for Visconti s film Senso in various cities in Italy All this and Truman Capote too flag Like see review Dec 22, 2018 Beverly rated it liked it Shelves 2018, december 2018 I won a copy of Leading Men on First Reads I normally love fiction about real people This book sounded so interesting The writing is very good and I m sure that it will be a popular book It just wasn t for me flag Like see review Jan 14, 2019 Chip Cheek rated it it was amazing Absolutely beautiful novel flag Like see review previous 1 2 3 next new topicDiscuss This Book There are no discussion topics on this book yet Be the first to start one Share Recommend It Stats Recent Status Updates Readers Also Enjoyed In addition to his work with Grub Street, Christopher is on the faculty of the Warren Wilson College Low Residency MFA program and the Bread Loaf Writers Conference He has been recently awarded a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, a fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural Fellowship, and the Writer for Writers Award given by Barnes Noble and Poets Writers Christopher was educated at Swarth College, received his Masters in English Literature from Tufts University, and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Boston University Books by Christopher Castellani More Trivia About Leading Men No trivia or quizzes yet Add some now renderRatingGraph 28, 17, 18, 9, 4 if rating_details rating_detailssert top rating_graph Company About us Careers Terms Privacy Help Work with us Authors Advertise Authors ads blog API Connect 2019 , Inc Mobile version

    Welcome back Just a moment while we sign you in to your account.

    Leading Men Fiber Arts Home Partners Steve Andy are the Leading Men in the world of color Enjoy their beautiful vibrant colors for all of your fiber needs Leading Men, a Novel About Tennessee Williams and His Feb , The longtime relationship between Tennessee Williams, left, and Frank Merlo, center, fuels Christopher Castellani s new novel, Leading Men. Leading Men Literacy Lab Increasing Kindergarten Readiness Leading Men Fellows are trained to implement interventions to prepare pre K children for Kindergarten Fellows are trained and coached to work in one pre K classroom for the entire school year, leading to significant gains for and year olds. Leading Noble Men Noble Warriors Undivided Engaging Hard Conversations Pastor James J.T Taylor, Village Church of Portsmouth Pastor Mike Camire, Parkway Baptist, Moseley Undivided is a video driven resource that models and prompts us to have healthy productive conversations about hard topics, particularly racial issues. Men arrested after leading deputies on chase in Naples NAPLES, Fla Two men are in custody after leading police on a high speed chase before crashing their car Tuesday night Deputies said the chase began in Marco Island after initially responding Asian Leading Men Who Deserve More Airtime Celebrity Asian Leading Men Who Deserve More Airtime Asian actors don t often get starring roles in Hollywood, but these guys American and otherwise prove they re leading men too. Sexy Leading Men Over BuzzFeed Celebrity Sexy Leading Men Over Old dudes can still be hot Happy birthday, Harrison Ford, and welcome to this special, select group of aging skinbags. RESTORE Hair Leading Hair Restoration for Men Women RESTORE Hair is Chicago s leader in hair restoration and hair transplantation for both men and women Our F.U.E method is a permanent, safe pain free way to regrow your hair with no scar or stitches We also offer non surgical options See why Brian Urlacher and thousands have chosen RESTORE. Research Are Women Better at Leading Diverse Countries We know what a world dominated by men by male CEOs, management teams, and heads of state looks like Consider for a moment what the world might look like if female leaders were the norm. Men and Heart Disease Fact Sheet Data Statistics DHDSP CDC Heart Disease Facts in Men Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the United States, killing , men in that s in every male deaths Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men of most racial ethnic groups in the United States, including African Americans, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Hispanics, and whites.

    • Free Read [Science Fiction Book] ✓ Leading Men - by Christopher Castellani ↠
      151 Christopher Castellani
    • thumbnail Title: Free Read [Science Fiction Book] ✓ Leading Men - by Christopher Castellani ↠
      Posted by:Christopher Castellani
      Published :2018-011-16T11:20:43+00:00

    About "Christopher Castellani"

      • Christopher Castellani

        Christopher Castellani is the son of Italian immigrants and a native of Wilmington, Delaware He lives in Boston, where he is the artistic director of Grub Street, one of the country s leading independent creative writing centers He is the author of three novels All This Talk of Love 2013 a New York Times Editors Choice A Kiss from Maddalena 2003 winner of the Massachusetts Book Awar Christopher Castellani is the son of Italian immigrants and a native of Wilmington, Delaware He lives in Boston, where he is the artistic director of Grub Street, one of the country s leading independent creative writing centers He is the author of three novels All This Talk of Love 2013 a New York Times Editors Choice A Kiss from Maddalena 2003 winner of the Massachusetts Book Award and The Saint of Lost Things 2005 , a BookSense IndieBound Notable Book His book of essays on the craft of fiction, The Art of Perspective Who Tells the Story, was published by Graywolf in 2016 Christopher s fourth novel, Leading Men, for which he received a 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship, will be published by Viking in February 2019 In addition to his work with Grub Street, Christopher is on the faculty of the Warren Wilson College Low Residency MFA program and the Bread Loaf Writers Conference He has been recently awarded a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, a fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural Fellowship, and the Writer for Writers Award given by Barnes Noble and Poets Writers Christopher was educated at Swarth College, received his Masters in English Literature from Tufts University, and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Boston University


    673 Comments

    1. Beginning in 1953 some of the glitterati of the literati are the leading men of this novel The big names here are Tennessee Williams and the malicious gossip Truman Capote he makes only a few appearances The other two leading men are Williams partner assistant nursemaid the good natured and reliable, Frank Merlo, and the lesser known author John Horne Burns As he lay dying in 1963, Merlo revisits a tumultuous summer with Williams and his role as bit player standing in the massive shadow of Begin [...]


    2. I received this book through the First Reads giveaway program.I believe one of the signs of a truly exceptional novel is that it springboards a desire within the reader to explore even works of literature This book has certainly done that for me Serendipity would say that this book landed in my mailbox just as I finished watching a movie about Truman Capote Along comes this beautifully profound novel about Tennessee Williams and the other literary geniuses of the day I now want to devou I recei [...]



    3. Castellani s first three novels captivated me thoroughly but Leading Men took all my emotions and ratcheted them up a level I can t stop thinking about this book I fell in love with Frank Merlo and Anja Bloom, with Tennesee William s Italian jet setting ways, with the backdrop of 1950s Italy, with all of it The book is beautifully written, so much so that now that I have read it to feel wrapped up in the story, I intend to read it again for the craft of it I want to understand how he turns t Cas [...]


    4. Italy, a booze soaked party thrown by Truman Capote, a mysterious Swedish film star, and the gorgeous love story between Tennessee Williams and Frank Merlo what s not to adore about this novel From the first page, I was swept into the rich and mesmerizing world of Castellani s LEADING MEN, and enjoyed it right up to its incredibly moving and satisfying ending This ambitious novel has a rich cast of characters and whisks you from 1950s Italy in the 1950s to Manhattan in the 1960s to the theate It [...]


    5. They say artists crave immortality I say we don t give a fuck about the next life It s this one we want of In the summer of 1953, American writer Tennessee Williams and his lover Frank Merlo attend a wild party in Italy hosted by Truman Capote It s there that they meet the beautiful aspiring actress Anja Blomgren and their lives change forever.Tenn and Frank travel Italy with Anja and her mother, as well as writer Jack Horne and his lover Sandro After hiking to a remote cliff, the T [...]


    6. I finished this exquisite novel yesterday and can t stop thinking about it Christopher Castellani expertly balances three main time periods the wine soaked days Tennessee Williams and his partner Frank Merlo spent in Italy in the 1950s with a cast of characters both fictional the actress Anja Bloom and real Truman Capote Merlo s last days in the early 1960s and the present day, where an elderly Anja is forced to confront the past The writing itself is dazzling, the stories in all time I finished [...]


    Leave a Reply