The Return of the Player
978-0-8021-4302-0 • $13.00 • Paperback • July 2007
The sequel to the Hollywood classic The Player, and a satire on power, wealth, and family in the twenty-first century
Published to great acclaim and adapted into a celebrated movie by Robert Altman, The Player defined the new Hollywood and became a cult classic.
In The Return of the Player, it’s fifteen years later and film executive Griffin Mill is back. After getting away with murder, Griffin has risen up the ranks of the studiobut not to the top. Now he wants out. Hollywood has changed. The business has peaked; box office is down. Griffin is convinced that Hollywood is dying because the world is dying.
Griffin needs a safe haven, a private island somewhere in the South Pacific with an airstrip and high ground. But his life has become expensive. As the novel opens, Griffin is broke, down to his last $6 million. He has one last desperate plan, to quit the studio and convince Phil Ginsberg, an almost billionaire who aspires to “really savage wealth,” to become his partner.
Ginsberg and his partner, Gunther Hitt, take the bait. They see the potential in Griffin, a master of stories, and hire him to write one starring their money. It looks like Griffin’s dream is on track, but while his ideas percolate, his personal life is falling apart. He is impotent and allergic to Viagra. His second marriage is broken, perhaps permanently, and he’s beginning to think he shouldn’t have divorced his first wife. Child Services is threatening to put his daughter into protective custody after his wife beats her in public. And if that’s not enough, Griffin even has to commit another murder when his plan nearly collapses.
With The Return of the Player, his fourth novel, Tolkin again delivers a brilliant, incisive portrait of contemporary society gone out of control. But as the Player says, “Happy endings. Always happy endings.”