Lulu in Babylon
For the first time since her parents' divorce 10 years ago, Lulu Flintridge, 15, is spending the entire summer in Hollywood with her father, the Oscar-winning director Milo Flintridge. But she has no idea how over her head she is amid his cutthroat and striving circle of friends and associates – stars, studio heads, hangers-on and even his new wife, the beautiful Italian starlet Francesca Frateli.
Milo, past 50 and eager to draw his estranged daughter into his world, gives her the diary of her late grandfather, the ruthless movie mogul, A.J. Flintridge -- nee Abe Fleishman. But even this can’t prepare her for Ben Robbins, the manipulative ex-studio president frantically setting up a new "go" picture, whose path fatefully crosses Lulu’s on a yacht off Corsica. Or Jazzy Hirshberg, a studio head’s daughter, age 17 going on 30. And certainly not for Connor Ericson, the young English actor whose career is skyrocketing that summer.
Lulu is smart and savvy, educated in the mores of her mother's East Coast establishment family, the Sturgeses of Boston. But Hollywood is another planet. Amid its shimmering glamor, Lulu learns that coming of age in the paradise of Hollywood can be a brutal affair.
Allison Silver's 'Lulu in Babylon' is a lovingly observed tale of outrageous misbehavior
and romantic intrigue, set in the irresistible realms of old and new Hollywood. Ms.
Silver knows her way around a yacht, a Brentwood estate and a studio screening
room, and she gets the details just right, in a voice that's equally rueful, comic and
In the tradition of Michael Tolkin and Bruce Wagner, 'Lulu in Babylon' provides a
scathing sociology of modern Hollywood that rings absolutely true -- its obsession
with status, its blatant insincerity. When you set an innocent 15 year-old girl from the
East in the middle of this, what you get is `Daisy Miller in Lotusland.'
Allison Silver is a bonafide insider, privy to the manipulations and secret conversations
of the best and brightest in Hollywood – studio moguls, stars, mega producers. That’s why
her hilariously honest first novel, 'Lulu in Babylon,' is both addictive and dangerous enough
to merit a warning label: Reading this book could be hazardous to the health of showbiz careers.
Illustrations by Matt Wuerker
Click on each image by Politico's Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist to
get a closer look at the episodes of Lulu's adventures in Hollywood:
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