A Hollywood lawyer and producer takes part in a Civil War reenactment to escape the monotony of his life in this novel by the author of All Joe Knight.
As a young man, John Reynolds fled his provincial hometown of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, for Los Angeles, lured by the promise of a life fueled by the excitement of show business. But after twenty years in Hollywood, Reynolds feels existentially unfulfilled. He resides in a beautiful mansion with his wife and daughter, and his business is booming, but Reynolds remains despondent as his attempts to pivot into producing his own movie projects fail again and again.
Depressed and at a creative dead-end, Reynolds finds himself inexplicably drawn back to the historical setting of his youth: he has secretly signed up to participate in a weekend-long reenactment of the Battle of Gettysburg in the unlikely California town of Enchino, sixty miles east of Los Angeles. Just before his departure, an ex-Playmate—the very centerfold of Reynolds’s adolescent daydreams—pitches him her idea for a reality TV show. When Reynolds impulsively invites the former Playmate and her best friend, a former Miss Universe, to accompany him to the reenactment, his plans for a solitary weekend of self-discovery run amok.
With a compulsively readable narrative that offers a satirical portrait of Hollywood—the deal-making, the politics, the pitches—Gettysburg is an intelligent and powerful book about contemporary America.
Praise for Gettysburg
“A showbiz satire from someone who knows what he writes. . . . A comic romp about a weekend misadventure at a Civil War re-enactment.” —Variety
“Morris’s entertaining second novel, following All Joe Knight, zeros in on a particular male fantasy, and acknowledges the importance of entertainment and honoring the past, both personal and historic.” —Booklist
“Though Reynolds’s plans for renewal end up wildly off the mark, he ultimately finds something of value. While delightedly skewering the privileged entertainment industry lifestyle, Morris uses Reynolds’s travails and the divisions of the Civil War period to make larger points about the current state of America.” —Library Journal