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Double Feature

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  1,450 ratings  ·  276 reviews
Double Feature is a beautiful, wrenching beginning, and Owen King is a young writer of immense promise.” – Larry McMurtry

An epic debut novel about a young man coming to terms with his life in the process and aftermath of making his first film—from critically acclaimed short story writer Owen King—for readers of Joshua Ferris, Sam Lipsyte, and Chad Harbach. Filmmaker Sam D
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published March 19th 2013 by Scribner
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Average rating 3.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,450 ratings  ·  276 reviews

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Dec 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Disclaimer: I am the author's sister, so of course I think everything he writes is fabulous. I got to read the galley, and when it is published you all will enjoy this meditation on responsibility, family, love, and self-worth.
Gregor Xane
Mar 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Gregor by: Edward Lorn
Shelves: 2015
A tale of two assholes.

The father is a lovable asshole and the son is an unlikable asshole. This story is about their respective journeys toward not being such huge assholes.

This is a big messy book. The author throws everything he's got at this one. And most of it sticks.

Owen King is a hell of a writer. His dad (Stephen King) and his brother (Joe Hill) are great entertainers, tellers of tales designed for stadium seating, whereas Owen King is more of a writer's writer. The stuff Owen accomplis
Apr 16, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
16 hours of my life gone.

What a disappointment. I listened to this on audio, so I am willing to give this one another shot…eventually. Right now, I feel as if I missed something. I listened to all 16 hours of this book and I am fairly certain it was about absolutely nothing. I couldn’t tell you the point of the book if I had to.

I saw so many reviews where it said how funny this book was. I never laughed once. In fact, I grimaced a lot. I don’t get it. Maybe it’s one of those times where it’s m
Edward Lorn
Jun 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A great deal of my enjoyment of this novel stems from my own life experiences: I'm a fan of independent movies; I had a rather crappy relationship with my father; I'm a fan of books wherein movie lore play a large role; and I have an affection for great writing.

Other than a thirteen-page paragraph in the first part of this book, I have no other complaints about how Owen King handled Sam Dolan's story, or the bittersweet tale of Sam's mother, which is interspersed throughout the book, giving th
Scott Rhee
The indie film circuit is kind of where it's at at the moment. Hollywood has basically given up making anything original, solely churning out sequels, remakes, or superhero movies. Not that I don't look forward to "The Avengers 2", "Iron Man 4", or J.J. Abrams's "interpretation" of "Star Wars". I'm just saying, if you want something original, character-driven, and minus CGI, independent films are pretty much the only thing going right now.

Sam Dolan, the protagonist of Owen King's novel "Double F
Jan 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, literature
'Who We Are' was to be a film that would take most of the main protagonists life energy through deaths and love and his relationship with his father will all see the talk and workings of this film never end.
His father Booth was more known for b movies and he felt he was going to do something more realistic more meaningful. Pre production he needed backers funds to get the ball rolling. This story is of double kin father and son's turbulent days in making it and breaking it into the movie industr
Dec 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
So I read this in May, but didn't write a review. I meant to.

And today I picked up the copy of a chapbook given out at a book signing. This is a series of deleted scenes and scrapbook entries. We'll, I enjoyed it and it brought back some of what I felt when reading Double Feature.

First off, Owen King has a brilliant imagination. I am fascinated with the fictional movie career of Booth Dolan, and the film industry glimpses we get of Sam Dolan as he works on his own production.

For much of this
Short Storyshort
Mar 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
I love this book because it keeps the promise that a storyteller makes his or her audience; it successfully evokes all the experiences and moments a novel should deliver. There are laughs in abundance. There are unforgettable scenes and set-pieces. There are brilliant details, like the faux B-Movies with delightfully preposterous characters such as hero Professor Graham Hawking Gould. Some of the lunatic images that Mr. King has dreamed up will be seared into my memory forever. Thankfully, most ...more
Bennett Gavrish
Feb 25, 2013 rated it it was ok
Grade: D

L/C Ratio: 90% Literary / 10% Commercial

Thematic Breakdown:
35% - Filmmaking
25% - Family
20% - Love
15% - Dreams
5% - Humor

Addictiveness: Low
Movie Potential: 2 Thumbs Down
Re-readability: Medium

To put it bluntly, Double Feature is a catastrophe. There's no question that Owen King (son of Stephen King and brother of Joe Hill) is carrying the family's literary gene, but in his debut novel, he squanders that talent with a pretentious, haphazard, and at times disturbing story that sorely needed
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Life is a snapping turtle in the middle of the road.

There’s a lot going on here all at once. It was fast and slow and deep and juvenile. (Yes, I liked the juvenile parts.) I’m still not sure wtf just happened here. But, I liked it.

Canning jars full of shaved foot warts, Orson Wells idol worship, one-hair mole prosthetic proboscis, 75 Things That Cause Unnecessary Fatigue, penis shaped floral arrangements, botched Mucinex overdose suicide attempts, duck call flatulence, mail-order airline c
Lee Klein
Mar 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
An amusing, enjoyable, self-critical, post-metafictional romp featuring a film involving a Santa-bearded satyr doing a tree, a cuckolded German Yankee catcher, talk about the mimes in "Blow Up," and consistently clever/kinetic riffs and scenes in part about father/son issues and many other pairs, or "doubles."

Here's a little review I contributed to the Philadelphia Review of Books:
Mar 22, 2013 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book much more than I did, perhaps because I am a fan of Stephen King. His son Joe Hill is also quite a good writer, a bit more sentimental than his Dad. But this book from Owen King was hard for me to finish, I really couldn't get into it.

The main character, Sam, has a somewhat famous Father who made a career out of making B horror movies, and Sam is trying to raise money to film his first movie. He has to beg and bargain, and finally gets enough cash, and one "known" act
Apr 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013, humor
It took me a few days to think about this book once I finished it....and it's still making me think. One thing Owen King is is a master at characterization! This novel is completely character driven and he has a knack of painting these characters so realistically, that I could almost swear that I met them personally!

This book tells the story of Sam Dolan, from a young boy to the grown, cynical man he becomes. Sam has wanted to be a director since he was young, partially as a response to his fat
Jan 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
My first intro to Owen King. No disappointments. the story of a up and coming movie maker , with his trials and tribulations. Surrounded by family and friends, Sam Dolan paddles his way through feelings from a pompous B movie actor father, a heart breaking memories of his mother, Allie, being ignored and emotional drained by his preoccupied father. Nefarious affairs with a friends wife, and a woman who truly cares for him but is ignored by Sam at times. An eccentric friend who can't get out of h ...more
Andrew Lennon
Apr 14, 2014 rated it did not like it
I really enjoyed Owen kings other book "we're all in this together " so I was quite looking forward to this one.
Sadly I've given up. When you get to page 100 and not a single thing has happened that interests you or grab your attention, then I think it's time to give up.
May 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What a wacky twisty story, hehehe. I especially loved "Wesley Latsch's List of Seventy-five Things That Cause Unnecessary Fatigue"
Nicole Rhaven
May 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I was quite pleased by this book. One that once you reached it's end, you're a bit sadden because you wish it would go on forever.
Stewart Gardiner
Jan 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I've made a couple of quite awful short films, that nevertheless had some good bits in them. The good bits were inevitably what everybody else brought to the table. In one unfocussed and oddly sprawling short I at least had the good sense to have my fine filmmaking buddy Paul (who is more than capable of making short films consisting of more than just a few good bits) dress up as a sort of cheap Orson Welles from F For Fake. He later pronounced Wellesian statements as we strolled down a street i ...more
Jan 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-books
I have more mixed feelings about this book than four stars might suggest, but it has stuck with me. So. Four.

One of the challenges of a book like this, about a rather snarky young man and his famous, irritating father, is that two-thirds of the criticism of it has been speculation about whether or not we're meant to read Sam as author Owen King and Booth has Owen's famous father Stephen King. I did not care about this problem as I read the book, but I was deeply aware of it as I read, and I foun
Apr 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Originally I planned to just put a part of the review from my blog here, but it turns out I am not done with my thoughts about Double Feature. I'll start out by saying that I haven't read any other reviews of it, really, just skimmed them. Because I find the surest way to destroy my enjoyment of a book or movie is to know too much about it going in. It raises expectations in a way that never seems to work out well for me.

So I'm going to try not to give too much away here.

I'll just say that whil
Larry Berthold
Sep 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Have been anxiously awaiting this book's arrival since reading 'We're All in This Together' and seeing a unique spirit, touchstones to my favorite writers, a kindred twisted humor in reflection, and all kinds of literary promise in Owens King's writing...Double Feature takes all of that promise and promotes it to the next level...DP is about relationships and perspective...the blurred lines between perception and reality, that thin line between self hate and congratulation, extended family and t ...more
Kelly Hager
Apr 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a hard book to describe, and it's definitely not for everyone---it's a little rambly and all over the place and more than a little weird in the best way. But if you're someone who loves movies and clever dialogue and books that make you laugh out loud so much that you don't notice that you're reading a book that's actually really, really GOOD until you're a several chapters in and you're absolutely enthralled...well, this is the book for you.

As the synopsis says, these are for fans of Jo
Jay Nichols
Apr 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Haunted by his ruined student film, Sam Dolan stumbles through his 20's and early 30's, directionless and ambivalent, trying his hardest not to get too worked up over anybody or anything. When he meets tenacious Tess, he comes to terms with his past and learns that, hey, life isn't half bad. If you stick around long enough, things can even take a turn for the better.

I know this novel is supposed to be funny--and in many places it is--but I couldn't help but feel sorrow for the protagonist, mainl
A. E. S.
May 01, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: starving-artists
Pros: Owen King weaves an interesting story about a young film director and his dad, an aging actor. Their relationship as well as his younger sister is detailed, and it definitely has its ups and downs. When the film director's first movie is botched and turned into a viral Internet sensation, it's up to him to reinvent himself. But does he want to?

Cons: There are no words to describe how much I hated this book. The way it was written made me want to throw this book at a wall, and once it was o
Feb 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If Double Feature isn't made into a movie, something is terribly wrong with this world. This is such a witty, crazy, laugh-out-loud funny novel with such exquisite language... Philtrum, simalacrum, opprobrium, mimesis, kibitzing, contrapuntal, coxswain! If nothing else, read Double Feature for the bonus: Wesley Latsch's List of Seventy-Five Things That Cause Unnecessary Fatigue. It's really all there.
Paul Anderson
Jul 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Owen King and his novel DOUBLE FEATURE are responsible for me getting absolutely nothing done today. I have not sat down and just read a book because it's that compelling in Christ knows how long. DOUBLE FEATURE did that today.

Do you need more than that?

Then you should read the book, shouldn't you?

(And, as an aside, if you happen to read their review over at the AV Club, they kinda missed the point. Just sayin'.)
Amber B
**Update** I think about this book all the time, so I'm giving it another star for its staying power.

This book was seriously difficult to get into, but I ended up sort of obsessed with the characters. There is no way people like this exist, but at the same time, I know people just like every one of them, including me. For film fans, there's a lot of fun stuff, the ending is smile-inducing, and I laughed a lot. I just wish it had been friendlier when I first met it.
Jan 08, 2013 marked it as to-read
Really enjoyed the author's collection We're All In This Together: A Novella and Stories, and am excited to see he's got a full novel out. Went and bought me a nice spanky-new copy today! Will get to it soon :D ...more
Todd Glaeser
Jul 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Despite the familial connection to his dad, I found this book to be much more in a John Irving-ish vein.
The plot and the characters and the sense of history affecting the present all reminded me of JI.
Happily I REALLY enjoy Irving, and I really liked this book.
Jerry Newcomb
Feb 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Owen is on his way with this debut novel. The characters were often times hard to like but I think that was the point? Loved the writing and breezed right through is book. Can't wait for the next one from Owen.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: # 48 Double Feature 1 7 Jun 21, 2014 06:53AM  

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I'm the author of the novel Double Feature and We're All In This Together: A Novella and Stories, co-editor (with John McNally) of the anthology Who Can Save Us Now, and co-author (with Mark Poirier) of the graphic novel Intro to Alien Invasion. I also co-wrote the novel Sleeping Beauties with Stephen King. My writing has appeared in publications such as The New York Times Book Review, The Los Ang ...more

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