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Silent Extras - Grunberg, Arnon

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Ewald, Broccoli and the exotic Elvira are three young friends on the run - from the horrifying possibility of living mundane lives. They all want just one thing - to be magnificent, on screen or off it, but ideally in front of thousands of people. So Broccoli, self-styled svengali and 'President of the Society of Geniuses', begins Operation Brando, an insanely ambitious plan to make them the biggest stars Hollywood has ever known.Sadly, things don't quite follow this plan and their path to global obscurity is by turns hilarious, absurd and tragic. Operation Brando begins badly and gets rapidly worse: Broccoli is only able to secure auditions for his disciples as extras in risible youth theatre productions and lousy commercials. He thinks Ewald would be perfect for the non-speaking role of a spotty kid, for instance, who has only to fall down stairs to get the part, but even this stretches Ewald's talents a little too far. All three suffer badly from the burning need to be somebody else, somebody none of them are quite able to be, and this focus on the abyss separating desire and reality makes for a richly comic and ultimately moving novel by one of Europe's most exciting young authors.

Broccoli, Elvira and the narrator Ewald feature as extras in all senses of the word in this entertaining portrayal of wannabes in the world of movies. Side-lined by fame, fortune, success and greatness and cast aside by life, the characters flounder without a lead role. These characters are on the verge of disappearing into a no-man's land where fantasy and ambition are detached from reality, ability and know-how. The result is a timely, moving and funny account of a celluloid world where the value of life is reduced to the fleeting surfaces of Hollywood, where image is all. Waiting for their lucky break, they adopt the appropriate lifestyle anyway. Broccoli launches Operation Brando in a vain attempt to realize his dreams. Moving through Amsterdam, Paris and America The Marlon Brando Operation staggers from post to post, on the run from mundane life, tripping into bad commercials or non-speaking geeky cameos. As a result the future and the past become victims of these day-dreams and their very selves become lost. Missing people in the chasm between dreams and reality. This is a poignant, comic love story to the dreams of these wannabes, and the fact that despite reality and misfortune, despite lack of ability and failure, despite lack of talent and knowledge - people still believe. (Kirkus UK)

ISBN: 9780099273486
ISBN-10: 0099273489
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 368
Published: 15th November 2001
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.9  x 2.1
Weight (kg): 0.26
Edition Number: 1

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