Professor Conrad Keppler is flummoxed by Kate, a colleague he likes who has shown an interest in him, but he doesn’t know how to respond. Even more distressing is that his childhood, which he thought safely behind him, has begun to encroach on his daily life. Memories of a misconceived effort to rescue his screenwriter father from the evils of Hollywood, and thereby merit the man’s affection, return to him vividly. Life in Beverly Hills with his egocentric father and a mother who—in Conrad’s memory, at least—constantly devoted herself to shushing him lest the genius be disturbed, has left him unable to connect with Kate. Then Conrad comes across an unfinished story of his father’s that forces him to examine his past and challenges him to move forward.
An unusual perspective on the movie business in the 1950s and 60s and on present day academic life is an often humorous part of Conrad in Beverly Hills, the story of a man’s renewal through his own imagination.
What Are They Saying About Conrad in Beverly Hills:
"Throughout this unusual novel, Conrad proves to be a quirky if brutally honest narrator, revealing his many sexual obsessions, deep-seated confusion over his Jewish identity, and thinning patience for academic protocol. First-novelist Fuchs, himself the son of a screenwriter, brings a droll sense of humor and a richly detailed sense of place to this original and memorable family story."
"For those of us who constantly rethink our parents after they're gone. this tale will ring true as memory finds its way back to what we most loved, and sometimes forgot, about them."
—American Book Review
"Fuchs is at his best portraying teenage angst. He is superb at catching that mixture of inarticulate cluelessness, awkward, confused sexuality, and
bizarre acting out."
—Redwood Coast Review
“A writer of fastidious skill, Fuchs uses a sly sense of humor and a meditative intelligence to create a story about family that is both unpredictable and powerfully compassionate. Conrad in Beverly Hills is an elegiac paean to lost hopes and dreams, but it is also a richly textured and utterly original story about Hollywood.”
—John Kaye, author of The Dead Circus and Stars Screaming
“Rarely will you find a novel that depicts the belittling, self-deprecating life of a writer in Hollywood with such pinpoint accuracy….Jake Fuchs speaks for all artists in the age old battle between commerce and art. Enjoyable and moving from beginning to end, with a wonderfully honest and unforgettable narrator, Conrad in Beverly Hills is a finely written, terrific novel by a masterful writer at the top of his craft.”
—James Brown, author of The Los Angeles Diaries
“Wry, funny, excruciatingly honest, a portrait of two artists at war with each other and the talent they can’t escape, this coming-of-age story for grown-ups reminds us that to achieve reconciliation with the past, you have to trust the demands of the imagination, wherever it leads you—kicking and screaming all the way—whether you like it or not.”
—Elizabeth Frank, author of Cheat and Charmer