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3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  74 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
Film student Micah Malone learns the hard way that when life sucks, you can’t just yell, “Cut! Let’s do another take!”

His grades are a box-office bomb. His friends create more drama than a soap opera. And his love life needs a laughtrack. While there’s no script to dictate what happens next, can Micah find the direction he needs? Life, after all, is no film school project.
Kindle Edition, 312 pages
Published June 1st 2011 by MLR Press
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Jun 06, 2013 Ilhem rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m, fun, sid-love
“I don’t think anyone’s ever fully prepared for a Micah.”

Meet Micah Etienne Malone who’s got - to put it nicely - a very intense, very busy inner life.

Imagine a mind that is one big movie quiz, that doesn’t categorize, doesn’t prioritize information, a mind full of voices, images and words that rush from all directions in an overcrowded Broadway show stage: that’s where you’ll spend the span of 312 pages, if you decide to read this book.

At 2%, I asked myself: what is that?!

At 5%, I was dazed and
Mar 09, 2012 Josh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First time through this was a DNF for me. Perhaps it was my mood. Perhaps I felt the narrator was trying too hard? Humor is difficult and if the reader is not in the right mood...

Anyway, second time through I read the entire book in an evening and found myself laughing outloud many, many times.

An unexpected delight.
Whoa! *insert dazed, exhilarated laugh here*
This was SO. AWESOME.

I suggest you skip the fangirling review and read the book instead.

Let's start with Micah: I don't think I've ever loved a narrator so much. He's hilarious, conceited (in that cute, actually self-conscious way, if that makes any sense) and so horny.
I think I spent half the book laughing to tears – I don't know if it will work for you, but his is definitely my kind of humour.
I can't tell you much about Micah, because I want you – ye
Jul 14, 2011 Jenre rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tinseltown is a light-heatred, humourous book which tells the story of Micah who, with the help (and hindrance) of his friends tries to find true love. Along the way there is much disappointment, some tragedy and a lot of laughs. I'm well aware as a reader of how subjective humour can be, and I have to admit that 20 pages into this book I wasn't wholly sure the humour was going to be to my taste. Fortunately, this turned out the be just teething problems and it wasn't long before I got into the ...more
Kaje Harper
Sep 10, 2011 Kaje Harper rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m
4.5 stars. It's important going in to realize that this is really not a m/m romance novel, despite the cover and publisher. (Although actually MLR maybe offers more range than some of the other romance lines.)

This is more of a coming-of-age novel. There is romance, eventually, and even a HFN shading to HEA ending, but the book is about one main character not two. As the story opens, film student Micah is twenty-two and trying to figure out how adult life is supposed to work. In fact, he's one o
Mar 09, 2016 Christina rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, m-m, new-adult
This book was not for me. The writing style annoyed the hell out of me. It's too bad because there was a story buried beneath the erratic structure. It was told from the first person narrative and arranged in the format of a play or screenplay. I could not get used to Micah's internal dialogue or his "Greek Chorus" as he liked to call it. All the different side voices distracted me from the story. It made me not like Micah. Plus, It didn't flow well and there was a lot of backtracking and tellin ...more
Cole Riann
Review posted at The Armchair Reader.

I have meant to read this story since its release in the summer of 2011. In fact, I had told Barry in New Orleans that I'd read it and review it for it and I just never got around to it. Well, it must have been the universe telling me to get on with it, because I won the book in paperback along with some other books and prizes at the Comedy Hour event at GRL. And I knew that now that I had it in paperback, I really wanted to read it as soon as possible. So as
Eden Winters
And now for something different... This is not your typical romance, and is not explicit, but it's one heck of an example of fine storytelling.

OMG! I love Barry Brennesel's voice, and Tinseltown is one incredible read. Micah is an adorable character who makes me feel downright sane! My quirks are nothing compared to his. He is an average guy, deliciously flawed, looking for love, and totally captivating.

The first time I saw the title for this book, I assumed it would be about Hollywood. It's no
Sep 30, 2011 Sadonna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pdf, mm
I really enjoyed this book. I though Micah was hilarious and vulnerable and touching and neurotic and just darn cute.

The style of this book is different from anything that I've read before. At first I couldn't really tell where the story was going, but Micah's antics kept me reading along.

There is a bit of a jarring tragedy midway through the book that was completely unexpected that changes the tenor of the story for a bit. That section of the book was really engaging and well written though.
MsMiz (Tina)
Oct 28, 2011 MsMiz (Tina) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: glbt-all, pdf
3.5 stars

Like other readers, I am conflicted with how to accurately reflect how I felt reading this book. It does read like a script, I mean there are headings!! hee At first I thought I would need to get up and pace as I read and maybe take some ADHD meds. It was too fast and Micah has a head like Sybil. Add on top of that, I am not a big inner monologue girl.

With all of that said, I really liked this story. It was clean, well thought out, funny with a side of heartbreak. In the end taking thi
Elisa Rolle
This novel was a delightful experience, like a cup of chocolate with whipped cream above in a winter afternoon, and I will add also, in front of a fireplace. In the youth of the main characters, all college students of 21 years old I probably felt a lot the real life experience of the author; moreover, the writing style, that recreates almost a screenplay, with the main character, Micah, who is a Communications Major at the University of Washington with a visceral passion for movies and televisi ...more
Ron Fritsch
Oct 25, 2012 Ron Fritsch rated it it was amazing
Despite the title of Barry Brennessel’s excellent debut novel, its setting isn’t Hollywood but Seattle. “Tinseltown” is the name of an adult video store with rooms for sex downstairs. Additionally, the main character, Micah, and his best friend, Stan, are film students at the University of Washington hoping for careers making television series and/or movies.

Micah and Stan enjoy encyclopedic knowledge of the best known films and television programs (as does, I assume, the author). Micah, the narr
Alright, it's late and I'm going to make this easy on me (long live the laziness!!).

This was a fantastic book. It was funny, sometimes positively hilarious, sometimes sad, and an organized, but thorough chaos. I had to get used to the book structure and the writing style (the voice of an overly enthusiastic 22 year old with self-esteem issues and the attention span of a primary school kid is...uh...a lot to take in at first), but once I was used to it I simply loved it. Loved it to the last pag
Something like 2.6*

The fact that among all the movie/TV show references I got only two was annoying, but I braved throught it. Add to that:
- sporadic romance and his "thoughts" on it thoughout most of the book made not believe in his finall "the one"
- absence of any time references (like how much time have past since the last chapter - at best you get "weeks" or "months", but mostly you have to guess)
- skipping timeline back and forth (in my opinion confusingly done, not artistically)
- and m
Erik Orrantia
Dec 25, 2011 Erik Orrantia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found the creativity and technique of this author to be at first somewhat distracting. However, by the start of the second quarter or so I began to appreciate the depth and humor that the frequent asides added. Constant namedropping was done in such a way that kept me sufficiently informed {I would have otherwise been lost.} A few twists in the plot kept the story interesting. And direct dialogue with the reader--something that usually puts me off--added to the personals connection with the ch ...more
Mary Mary
Sep 05, 2015 Mary Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m
As much as I liked the beginning, the first half of book I was sure I'll DNF it. As it turned out I was just not ready for Micah :) He's hilarious and cute, BUT sometimes (if You're not ready) he is too much.
The story is well written and I absolutely LOVED to know how this 22yo boy (who sometimes sounds and acts younger, but that's just how I see it) see the world. The only thing I couldn't get used to was Micah's Greek chorus (sometimes I had to skip it because it annoyed me too much).
It is n
Valentina Heart
This review was originally written for Hearts on Fire Reviews and can also be found there.

To give all readers a fair warning – This review will be very conflicting. You may ask why, but there is no clear answer to that question, other than saying my opinions were many and they just loved to clash.

Now about the book. It is a story about Micah, a film student who has issues with his friends but still loves them, can’t get a break with love and has a bunch of voices in his head, both talking to hi
Won as part of the MM Romance Group 2015 Celebration!
Jun 01, 2014 Momshell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mm, coming-of-age
Micah is endearing and totally awesome. Loved his story, his insecurities and his visceral reactions.
Jun 06, 2011 Ryanst rated it it was amazing
I don't normally finish a book in two days but I had to keep turning the pages. This novel is hysterical. I laughed out loud A LOT. It choked me up a few times too. Micah is sassy but you real feel for him too.

His friends are just like my friends. The Greek Chorus is a hilarious and fun device and adds a theatrical element to the story.

It took me places I didn't expect it to. Really surprising plot turns. I can't say more cause I'll spoil it.
Jun 24, 2011 Brafe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not my usual genre. I'm big on mysteries. Was turned on to this author by his mystery novella which I liked for its freshness, dialogue and unusual plot twists. Read the short story in Polari and the writing is strong.

Gave this book a try and found the same snappy dialouge and fresh approach. The plot surprises, too, which is a huge plus for me. I get weary of formulaic approaches and this author avoids that.
May 19, 2013 Don rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very well written with a lot of humor that gets you inside of a film student and his desires, conflicts and how he muddles through life and tragedy.
Hearts On Fire Reviews
Reviewed by: Valentina Heart
Publisher: MLR Press
Genre: M/M Contemporary

Check out the review on
Oct 09, 2014 Jamie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
I just could not stand this author's style of writing! it was very irritating and I just couldn't get through the book.
Aug 01, 2011 Vespasian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hilarious and witty and engaging. Structure of the narrative really worked for this novel.
Aug 22, 2014 Gina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book was so awesome! Love, love, love Micah!
Jun 23, 2011 Kiki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oreli rated it did not like it
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When Barry’s first collection of stories was read aloud by his second grade teacher, the author hid. As the years flew by, he wrote more, hid less (not really), and branched out to Super 8 films and cassette tape recorders. Barry’s audience—consisting solely of friends and family—were both amused and bemused.

Since those childhood days, Barry has earned degrees in English and French from the State
More about Barry Brennessel...

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“My Greek Chorus takes a break when I meet with Mrs. Castor. I’ve never told her about them, or the fact that I converse with my sister’s cat whenever I’m over there visiting. Probably a lot of things will remain a secret to Mrs. Castor. Some people might argue that going to see a counselor is a waste if I’m going to remain so guarded. But the appointments are only a ten dollar co-pay thanks to the university’s generous nature and, unlike my chorus and the cat, she answers back independent of my brain cells and challenges my ‘long held beliefs about the way people interact’. Or somethin” 3 likes
“I always believed that for every good thing that happens in life, two tragedies rush in to kick your ass to keep you from getting all saccharine and deluded. It was as if just before you turned left into paradise, Ethel Merman popped up in your backseat and shouted, ‘Turn right, you idiot!” 1 likes
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