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I'm Losing You

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  269 ratings  ·  29 reviews
One of the most talked about, critically acclaimed books -- a savagely poetic meditation on love, death and cellular phones.Each decade brings a great Hollywood novel, one breathtaking in its scope and originality, a story that captures the soul of its time. As the millennium approaches, that novel is Bruce Wagner's I'm Losing You.

Chosen as a New York Times Notable Book of
Paperback, 336 pages
Published September 1st 1997 by Plume (first published October 1st 1992)
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3.44  · 
Rating details
 ·  269 ratings  ·  29 reviews

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Jul 11, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Argh. I picked this book up (and kept reading even when I wanted to put it down) because a writer I like listed it as one of her favorite books in an interview. I wish I hadn't. If you want to wallow around in a vile and hideous world with vile and hideous characters who do vile and hideous things and whose lives end hideously, this is the book for you. I take that back - even if you want something vile and hideous, you'll surely be able to find something that's better done.

This book has so many
Feb 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is an ugly book, beautifully written… I walked away from writing this for a couple weeks to get some perspective. If you’re interested in Hollywood novels, add this to you list. But be warned that there are no happy endings. There are many reprehensible characters and even the seemingly, at first, sympathetic characters end up not having much of our sympathy. It’s many stories that more or less are intertwined. Some of there are disgusting, but compelling, if that makes any sense. On the wh ...more
William Thomas
May 11, 2009 rated it did not like it
the only word that i can use to describe this book is supercilious. his use of metaphor and imagery was offputting because of the way they were written. it seemed like they were mostly images stuck inside of his own head that he was trying to put on paper but unsuccessfully doing so, when referring to the "skinhead sodomizing her" as a way of saying she had cancer of the bowels. i would normally have liked something like this as it sounds quirky and funny enough, but the way it fits into the res ...more
Joseph Carley
Nov 15, 2010 rated it liked it
I picked this up in a used bookstore in Portland. It's a fictional story about the intersecting lives of a bunch of vapid Hollywood people. One of those cosmic tales where everyone is interrelated. Total beach read in terms of its subject matter, but with hip prose and some interesting plot twists. Mostly a pleasurable read, although I'd recommend making a list of characters to remind yourself who everyone is.
I hated this. All the characters were horrific, I found the writing to be pretentious. It had no redeeming qualities at all.
John Kestner
Nov 23, 2018 rated it did not like it
Before the book completely lost me, I should have made a list of characters to keep track of what was going on. But would that have made a difference? Everyone in this book was a despicable character in one way or another. Diseased sexual deviants. Drugged out losers. Has-beens who never had a soul. Wannabees who've already sold theirs. About one-third of the way through, I had no idea which female character was which, not only because of the gender confusion from their f-d up lives, but they we ...more
Nick Milinazzo
May 02, 2018 rated it liked it
A slightly askew mirror taken to the City of Angels, that progresses into something poignant and deeper than one might expect.
Jun 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brutal Hollywood satire/melodrama written with lots of panache. And yet, while he savages them, the author has great sympathy for most of his characters.
Susan Klinke
Aug 08, 2011 rated it it was ok
(2.5) First off, I had to keep a list of characters noting who they were and how they were related to one another because there were so many of them.

This was ugly, mean, surreal, vulgar, hellish - Hollywood as the bowels of humanity. Everyone's an opportunist, and anything can be exploited and repackaged as a story for sale. Stylish, vapid, ambitious, competitive wannabes who are forever making deals and empty clever comments meant to impress. There never seems to be a quiet or still moment - t
Nov 14, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: novels
I just finished rereading this novel about Hollywood by screenwriter/director Wagner and I've got to say, again, it is the most luminously depressing book about the seediness of mankind that I have ever read. Wagner fills his book with agents, producers, actors and screenwriters including a handful of real life stars. All of them are very very pretty and most of them are either vapid or downright evil. Many chapters I read with nausea. People - at least those in Los Angeles - are really terrible ...more
Ian Carpenter
Aug 31, 2016 rated it it was ok
Great writer but this one for me just petered out. Loved it at the beginning and then so much of it started sounding... the same and I just lost interest. But this is starting to be a pattern for me (finding the last third of a book a slog) and I'm becoming fearful that it's the fallout of screenwriting and spending so much time in shorter work. Comforted by how many other reviewers felt the same about this one.
Oct 10, 2007 rated it it was ok
I appreciate the undertaking to weave 20-odd characters together through tragic vignettes, but the final product just didn't come through for me. The characters were wonderfully despicable though not depth-worthy enough for me to care what happened next. (With that said, maybe Wagner DID hit the nail on the Hollywood head.) I was skimming throughout!
Jun 29, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: clear-shelf
Wagner is a modern novelist in the sense that he lacks the skill and patience for writing novels. Disjointed sketches slip together in detailed accounts of perversion and depravity. Wagner feints at being a moralist, but he is really an immoralist. Wallowing in the worst of us, asking readers to share in his masochism--his sick pleasures. A tiny effort.
May 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned
"I'm Losing You" written in a very confusing "diary entries" narrative style, of little blurbs and items. Couldn't really bother to get involved enough to follow it, so I skipped through it. A waste of time. Very disappointing.
Mary Newcomb
This was confusing, interesting, disturbing, insightful and unusual. I read most of this while feeling under the weather, I think it somehow made the novel fit together much better. There are more novels by this author, not sure if I will be reading them or not.

May 25, 2008 rated it liked it
Harsh and kinky satire of Hollywood, told from many points of view in a variety of styles. Some if it is very funny and
pointed, but keeping the characters and their relationships to one another straight can be tricky. In the end, I'm not sure what it all added up to.
Pixietweet Clip
May 08, 2009 rated it liked it
Hollywood as hell. Porn, fisting, AIDS, death and degenerates. Too many characters and loses impetus toward the third half.
Tiana Murillo
Jun 16, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: celebrity-critical angelenos who appreciate flawless prose
ultimately a downer, but not without its darkly humorous moments. wagner is a brilliant writer.
Feb 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comic-fiction
Scabrously funny (am I using that word correctly?). Part of his cell phone trilogy.
Feb 27, 2013 rated it did not like it
Fairly repugnant. Fifty pages in and I had to put it down. Very unsavory and certainly not something I want to read over the holidays.
Jan 04, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to me by an English professor. It is both hilarious and raunchy, although the style bogs it down a bit.
Janet Flemer
Jun 17, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up-on
I found this book repulsive and gave up. I feel kind of guilty as I left it in my mother's guest room. I hope no one else reads it and will make sure I bin it next time I'm there.
Candice Riddle
Jul 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
RAW, confusing, dynamic and gross. Pretty much just like Hollywood.Bruce hits it right on the head.
Oct 20, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
well known for great dialogue
May 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Cynics & Misanthropes
Shelves: topshelf
Brutal. (Just glad I listed it before Addie)
Mar 06, 2012 marked it as unfinished
Shelves: given-away
I didn't like "Day of the Locust," and I am not enjoying this, despite loving Wagner's follow-up book "I'll Let You Go." (2012)
Less than one star. Pretentious. Done.
Apr 11, 2008 added it
Ugly, brutal LA novel.
rated it did not like it
Feb 14, 2013
rated it it was amazing
May 29, 2018
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Bruce Wagner is the author of The Chrysanthemum Palace (a PEN Faulkner fiction award finalist); Still Holding; I'll Let You Go (a PEN USA fiction award finalist); I'm Losing You; and Force Majeure. He lives in Los Angeles.
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