Sabra Embury's Reviews > Monster in a Box

Monster in a Box by Spalding Gray
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Sep 15, 11

bookshelves: quick-read
Read in September, 2011

This quick read is an autobiographical monologue that made me laugh out loud at least half a dozen times. It recounts Gray's insights through ubiquitous projects after his play "Swimming to Cambodia" was adapted into a film by Jonathan Demme (1997), consequently making him an extra-hot ticket in the entertainment industry.

New York theater-based Gray gets a grant while attempting to finish a "monster" of a novel (what would be his first and only Impossible Vacation) at a writer's retreat in New England. He moves to LA and discovers a view of Mt Baldy, sunshine, windchimes and the best way to validate parking for an appointment with a psychoanalyst. He heads down to Nicaragua to research a script idea for a film. Gets kicked out of a museum in Russia for impersonating royalty. And so on, into the high-profile revival of Thornton Wilder's Our Town.

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