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Silver Screen Fiend: Learning About Life from an Addiction to Film

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Patton Oswalt

4 Hours 8 Minutes

Simon & Schuster Audio

January 2015

Audio Book Summary

The instant New York Times bestseller from author, comedian and actor Patton Oswalt, a “heartfelt and hilarious” (USA TODAY) memoir about coming of age as a performer during the late 1990s while obsessively watching classic films at a legendary theater in Los Angeles. “[Oswalt has] a set of synapses like a pinball machine and a prose style to match” (The New York Times).

Between 1995 and 1999, Patton Oswalt lived with an unshakable addiction. It wasn’t drugs, alcohol, or sex: it was film. After moving to Los Angeles, Oswalt became a huge film buff (or as he calls it, a sprocket fiend), absorbing classics, cult hits, and new releases at the famous New Beverly Cinema. Silver screen celluloid became Patton’s life schoolbook, informing his notion of acting, writing, comedy, and relationships.

Set in the nascent days of LA’s alternative comedy scene, Silver Screen Fiend chronicles Oswalt’s journey from fledgling stand-up comedian to self-assured sitcom actor, with the colorful New Beverly collective and a cast of now-notable young comedians supporting him all along the way. “Clever and readable...Oswalt’s encyclopedic knowledge and frothing enthusiasm for films (from sleek noir classics, to gory B movies, to cliché-riddled independents, to big empty blockbusters) is relentlessly present, whirring in the background like a projector” (The Boston Globe). More than a memoir, this is “a love song to the silver screen” (Paste Magazine).

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Reviews

  • John Smith

    A relatively short read at 4hrs total so not much is covered but a lot I'd gleaned. It's got really funny, interesting, and enlightening only-in-Hollywood stories that make the whole book worth listening too as well as insightful anecdotes on making it in a creative field. It's designed as an addiction story, but it's really just the story of an over thinker vs a doer. It's interesting how someone can be both at the same time. A doer in one field yet a thinker in another. He never addresses the how and why of his addiction but there's enough in the story (effectively an autobiography) to glean the answer. So many creatives well relate to his story. He never seems to give us words of wisdom (unless it's at the end of the epilogue which I didn't listen to because it devolved into Oswalt's what-if fiction) but if I had to give you the theme it was to stop reading and start doing. any way, I hope to meet you one day Patton! Thanks for reading the book to me! I will be writing a screenplay in the next six months no matter the quality because that is the first step.

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