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True Grandeur

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  26 ratings  ·  22 reviews
TRUE GRANDEUR is the tale of Conrad Arlington, a young man who moves to Los Angeles to pursue his dream of becoming a great artist. Within a few short years of his arrival, Conrad’s success as a writer brings him to the attention of Gracie Garrison, a beautiful and alluring socialite whose glamorous lifestyle is just as mysterious as the rumors that surround her. After spe ...more
Paperback, 281 pages
Published September 20th 2017 by Magic Hour Press
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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Sandra Lopez
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
"If there was ever a sole, singular thing that led me to California, that would undoubtedly be it — a need for some kind of greatness." (6)

Conrad Arlington, "the last true artist," believed to have had drive and talent, which led him to this Hollywood story. A young boy with big dreams, he embarks on a relentless journey for true grandeur.

Told in the POV of Conrad, this story is the coming-of-age of a young man as he makes his mark in the Hollywood scene, which he soon learns is a "dark place
Mari LivTollefsonCarlson
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Maintaining a fever pitch of emotion throughout, debut novelist Cal R. Barnes invites us into the soul of a young and rising star. Be prepared to be inspired. Conrad Arlington, The Last True Artist, pursues the truth through art and love but is thwarted by the elusive Gracie Garrison. Join him on Franklin Ave, in Los Angeles, as he writes screenplays and takes jaunts around Hollywood in his coupe. His ideal, bohemian life takes a turn when Gracie auditions for his movie. He’s mesmerized by her b ...more
Réal Laplaine
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
True Grandeur, by Cal. R. Barnes, is a sort of film noir style romance and melodrama, reminiscent in its style and detail, of The Great Gatsby – depicting the travesty of the rich, the wanna-be-famous, and the starlets who hold onto the coattails of men and use their glamor, their sex appeal, and their thirst for a lifestyle that such provide. Conrad Arlington, a successful writer, living in Hollywood, casts a young blond for a role in his story, and soon finds himself so captivated by Gracie th ...more
Randy Tramp
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Conrad Arlington moves to Los Angeles to pursue his dream of being an artist. He meets Gracie Garrison, then falls in love with her.

Then she's gone and Conrad embarks on a journey to find her.

I loved the "feel" of this book. Conrad reminds me of Jay Gatsby, Gracie, Daisy Buchanan.

True Grandeur explores the thoughts and feelings of one in love. Reminded me of being young.

The descriptions of the setting were detailed, thrusting me deeper into the story.

Conrad had a range of emotions, from love to
Amy Shannon
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
a dramatic journey

There is more than love and romance in this book, it is a journey and adventure for Conrad. The artist is now searching for his own fate, destiny and it's full of self discovery, not just within his soul, but his heart as well. There is a hint of mystery, and suspense, but more for figuring out who Conrad truly is, even beneath his ideals or beliefs. It's a great story, one that is worth reading and taking to heart as well.
James King
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Romance is not a genre I generally read. How many men do? But every now and again I come across a book that demands my attention. True Grandeur turned me into a voyeur in the socialite fantasy world of Hollywood, if I may describe it as such, as I have never been there. For a few chapters of flowery prose, I found it hard to suspend my disbelief, but soon found as the story unfolded, I unwittingly had.
The protagonist Conrad Arlington, although naïve and somewhat arrogant is a compelling characte
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
True Grandeur is a marvolous tale of a young writer: Conrad Arlington who stumbles upon love at first sight. This novel is an adventure through the intellectual struggle to attain self desire. We follow Conrad as he adapts to the Hollywood lifestyle as a writer, and as a man who is driven by passion. This story creates imagery, emotion and attachment to its readers. I personally have been moved by this book. I recommend this book
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really loved True Grandeur by Cal R. Barnes. This is a beautifully descriptive tale of young and confident Conrad Arlington, self described as the Last True Artist. Arlington is a writer in California and sets his eyes on bringing to life one of his scripts only to be distracted and captivated by Gracie Garrison, a stunning yet mysterious young actress. The more Conrad sees of Gracie the less he knows of her and the more he desperately wants to see of her. But who is she exactly? What exactly ...more
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
True Grandeur is a novel that will completely absorb your attention and imagination. The level of storytelling was eloquently written. Readers will be captured by the story arc and character development and become part of the story itself. When Gracie is introduced into the story I was moved by her ravishing mystique; I could not resist to fall helplessly in love with her. This novel is a cross between what love is, or perhaps what it could be. Set aside hours of your time, as you will be loathe ...more
Brandi Perry
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’ve never really been interested in the Hollywood lifestyle but with True Grandeur, I learned a little more respect for it. Conrad Arlington moved to Hollywood to learn the truths about artistry and continually claims that he is the last great artist. He’s comes off arrogant and crude. Gracie Garrison is already a part of Hollywood and he instantly falls for her. After a night on the town, he awakens the next morning to find she’s gone. She selves into every recess in Hollywood and in turn not ...more
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
True Grandeur by Cal E Barnes is written like a classic story in the style of The Great Gatsby. Similar characters fill its pages, from the Last Great Artist Conrad Arlington, to the vacuous but irresistible Gracie. It is the tale of wanting perfection, contrasted to actually achieving it. When defeated, the great artist lashes out with fury, rather than compassion, because he was raised believing that would always be his due, and pity anyone who resists his primary desires.

In contrast, Gracie i
Kat Kennedy
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
TRUE GRANDEUR: A HOLLYWOOD NOVEL by Cal R. Barnes is a well-written, interesting, pot boiler of a novel that takes the reader into the confusing and tricky streets of Hollywood, and leads the reader through the façade of its surface beauty and the people that find and lose their way in a town built on illusions. Barnes captures the feel of Hollywood’s iconic locations like the Chateau Marmont Hotel with its low lit lamps and ambience of secrecy and the Sunset Strip’s glamorous clubs and resident ...more
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A breathtaking read with a dissatisfied after taste

In total, there's little I could say I didn't like about this novel. It felt like reading a timeless classic, a work of art that could potentially transcend time and resonate with people for decades to come. That is what I truly loved about Conrad's story of love and discovery, not of just himself but more of the world and life of which we all partake, and so much felt like reading poetry it was simply so raw and beautiful. The one thing I didn'
Russell J. J.
Jan 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Perhaps I’m simply not the person to be reviewing this book. Cal R. Barnes, with True Grandeur, has apparently created some sort of parable, and judging from other reviews, he has succeeded. I only wish I could have burrowed into his style and seen the brilliance if it’s there. Barnes obviously knows how to write, for he composes lengthy sentences full of images and complex vocabulary. I, however, wanted him to simplify, tone down the verbosity, and simply tell his tale. But all those words are, ...more
Janet S
Feb 24, 2018 rated it liked it

Cal R. Barnes’ TRUE GRANDEUR is an earnest homage to Old Hollywood, a land of wildly-blooming egos and torrentially-flowing alcohol, a place where business deals were done on casting couches, in a time when boys were “men” and women were “girls.” Through his coming-of-age tale of an arrogant, ambitious and splendidly naïve young film-writer, Barnes captures much of the surface glamour and manically-paced inactivity of an entire community based on fantasy.
Lauren Jones
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
In the life of luxury and fame, who determines who makes the cut and who doesn’t? True Grandeur by Cal Barnes is vividly wicked and sinfully courageous at the same time. This book will leave readers to think about the underlying message within. With such depth and passion for his characters, Barnes reflects an enigmatic ability to captivate and awe the reader into reading the tale of Conrad Arlington.

Conrad has moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dreams. He is destined to create great work of art
Cherie Kephart
Mar 08, 2018 rated it liked it
True Grandeur is difficult for me to review because I have conflicting thoughts about the book. It is evident that Barnes has both a passion and flair for writing. It shows through his fondness for prose and the way in which his language embodies aspects from classic writers like Fitzgerald. However, I had trouble connecting with the story. From the beginning, there were too many monologues that grew long. I wanted to skip ahead. This is mostly because the protagonist, Conrad Arlington, the self ...more
L. S.
May 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Stereotypes for artists exist for a reason, and Conrad manages to hit many of them. While searching for his big break, the romanticism of loves’ ideals captures him. Caught deep within tendrils of his heart, Conrad must fight for both his budding career and the affections of the woman he loves.

The whole novel feels like one of those old black and white movies of the Hollywood elite and their inner politics. An overall tone of romanticism and whimsy permeate the author’s writing and ultimately sp
Sarah G
May 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Goes down as another off my 2019 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book by an author who uses initials in their pen name.

This story it told through POV of Conrad Arlington who moves to Hollywood to make it as an artist. Will it swallow him up and spit him out or will he make it? To say that his belief in his talent abilities is high would be an understatement. It’s this mentality that drives him. His father and the great Arlington’s before him made sure of this kind of self worth and confidence. He w
Mark Smith
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Romance novels are one of the most difficult genres to write, and Cal R. Barnes pulls it off wonderfully. He pulls from areas he knows well and weaves a truly unique coming of age story. Conrad Arlington, the novel’s main character, is rather naïve. The small-town boy travels to Los Angeles to try his hand at writing, but he soon falls in love with the wrong woman. Readers will love the internal turmoil and life lessons Conrad learns.
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Rachel Kamery / Never Enough Novels
A story of a struggling artist in Los Angeles who falls in love with a beautiful young starlet. Conrad Arlington moves to Hollywood in search of “artistic truth” and finds Gracie Garrison instead. He quickly finds himself consumed by her and becomes overcome with desperation when she disappears from his life. Unfortunately, I couldn’t muster up any sympathy for Conrad. He’s an arrogant man who literally calls himself “The Last True Artist” over and over and over again throughout the book. The ma ...more
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Dec 23, 2017
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rated it it was amazing
Oct 26, 2017
Lity Munshi
rated it it was amazing
Mar 10, 2018
Cal R.
Jul 05, 2017 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Cal R.
Jul 05, 2017 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
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