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Leading Men
Leading Men | Christopher Castellani
An expansive yet intimate story of desire, artistic ambition, and fidelity, set in the glamorous literary and film circles of 1950s Italy In July of 1953, at a glittering party thrown by Truman Capote in Portofino, Italy, Tennessee Williams and his longtime lover Frank Merlo meet Anja Blomgren, a mysteriously taciturn young Swedish beauty and aspiring actress. Their encounter will go on to alter all of their lives. Ten years later, Frank revisits the tempestuous events of that fateful summer from his deathbed in Manhattan, where he waits anxiously for Tennessee to visit him one final time. Anja, now legendary film icon Anja Bloom, lives as a recluse in the present-day U.S., until a young man connected to the events of 1953 lures her reluctantly back into the spotlight after he discovers she possesses the only surviving copy of Williams's final play. What keeps two people together and what breaks them apart? Can we save someone else if we can't save ourselves? Like The Master and The Hours, Leading Men seamlessly weaves fact and fiction to navigate the tensions between public figures and their private lives. In an ultimately heartbreaking story about the burdens of fame and the complex negotiations of life in the shadows of greatness, Castellani creates an unforgettable leading lady in Anja Bloom and reveals the hidden machinery of one of the great literary love stories of the twentieth-century.
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review
JSW
Leading Men | Christopher Castellani
Mehso-so

I find I‘m not a fan of these fictionalized biographies (biographical fictions?), but YMMV. This one is an escape into old Hollywood and a certain crowd. I couldn‘t get in sync with the writing style either, but several sentences were quite good and overall the flow of the story was as well. It‘s not the book, it‘s me.

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Lauren.Archer
Leading Men | Christopher Castellani
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Looking at this fictional account of a period of Tennessee Williams life. He was so interesting, and I always want to know more.

KendallMorganHall Ooo. Just placed a hold on this from the library. Great find. Thank you for the recommendation. 5mo
82 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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ablachly
Leading Men | Christopher Castellani
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Pickpick

Sad and beautiful. It flows like poetry and I absolutely loved it.

Penny_LiteraryHoarders Great to hear! I have this in the queue! 6mo
18 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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ablachly
Leading Men | Christopher Castellani
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"How many lives could a person lead at one time, and how did you keep them from crashing into each other?"

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ablachly
Leading Men | Christopher Castellani
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“You think I deserve a love story. This is the best I can do. He came for someone else, but I was the one he chose. They are different things, being loved and being chosen. Being chosen is the more powerful powerful drug. It enslaves you. And what you miss when it ends is not the man who did the choosing, but that rush at having been seen by him.”

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GerardtheBookworm
Leading Men | Christopher Castellani
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Pickpick

A beautiful historical fiction piece that follows Tennesee Williams and his lover Frank Merlo. Atmospheric and reflective of the times, the book covers the romance and tragedy through the connections of the characters

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introvertedbooks
Leading Men | Christopher Castellani
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Pickpick

I dont even know how to express my feelings about this one. A story about Tennesse Williams and his assistant/lover Frank Merlo as well as a Swedish actress they meet one week in Italy. I loved that we got to follow Tenn/Frank/Anya in Italy, Tenn/Frank at the time of Frank's illness and Anya in her 70's and the secret script of Tenns she has kept hidden for years. Great historical fiction!

24 likes3 stack adds
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kyraleseberg
Leading Men | Christopher Castellani
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Mehso-so

LEADING MEN is historical fiction covering the summer that inspired Tennessee Williams's Suddenly Last Summer and his relationship with his partner of many years. While the writing was without a doubt incredible (seriously, it was amazing and highly quotable), I didn't connect with any of the characters, real or fictional, and found the story itself boring because of that disconnect.

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AlexGeorge
Leading Men | Christopher Castellani
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Pickpick

Oh, this book! Not coming out until next February, but do yourselves a favor and be sure to pick up a copy as soon as you can. It‘s phenomenally good.

14 likes4 stack adds