Reboot A novel

Justin Taylor, 1982-

Book - 2024

"A raucous and wickedly smart satire of Hollywood, toxic fandom, and our chronically online culture, following a washed-up actor on his quest to revive the cult TV drama that catapulted him to teenage fame David Crader is a has-been. A former child actor from the hit 90s teen drama Rev Beach, he now rotates between his new roles as deadbeat dad, part-time alcoholic, and occasional videogame voice actor. But when David is summoned to Los Angeles by Grace, his ex-wife and former co-star, he suddenly sees an opportunity for a reboot-not just of the show that made him famous, but also of his listless existence. Hollywood, the Internet, and a fractured nation have other plans, however, and David soon drinks himself to a realization: This se...emingly innocuous revival of an old Buffy rip-off could be the spark that sets ablaze a nation gripped by far-right conspiracies, toxic fandoms, and mass violence. Reboot is a madcap and eerily prescient speculative comedy for our era of glass-eyed doomscrolling and 90s nostalgia-a tale of former teen heartthrobs, online edge lords, and fish-faced cryptids, perfect for anyone who still agonizes over Angel versus Spike, lives in fear of the QAnon mom next door, or has run afoul of a rabid "stan" and lived to tell"--

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FICTION/Taylor Justin
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Location Call Number   Status
1st Floor New Shelf FICTION/Taylor Justin (NEW SHELF) Due Jun 13, 2024
Satirical literature
Humorous fiction
New York : Pantheon Books 2024.
Main Author
Justin Taylor, 1982- (author)
First edition
Physical Description
pages cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

Taylor's second novel, following the story collection Flings (2014), finds semiretired, semi-sober actor David Crader on an odyssey across the U.S. to get his former costars to sign on to a reboot of Rev Beach, the early-aughts teen soap that made them famous. When Grace Travis, David's first ex-wife and former costar, summons him to her Los Angeles mansion, David isn't expecting a chance to rekindle their romance or that Grace will want him to go to New York to convince their now very famous fellow Rev Beacher Shayne to sign up for the show's revival. David agrees to go see Shayne, but another former costar he wronged is on his mind--Corey, once the comic relief in the show, is now a MAGA influencer. Along the way, David muses about everything from toxic internet culture (which he experiences firsthand, thanks to the video game character he voices), utopian communes, and the propensity we all have to constantly reboot our lives. An introspective literary look at contemporary entertainment, families, culture, and the never-ending search for connection.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Celebrity culture, climate collapse, and pandemic-era conspiracy theories provide fodder for this entertaining if overstuffed satire from Taylor (Riding with the Ghost, a memoir). Narrator David Crader, a former child actor and recovering alcoholic nearing 40, is slumming it as the voice of a popular video game character. While in Los Angeles for a fan convention, he meets up with his ex-wife and former co-star, Grace Travis, who proposes a reboot of their early-2000s "beach-town soap," an East Coast OC mixed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer except with ghosts instead of vampires. Keen to the idea, David sets off to convince their former costars, including heartthrob Shayne Glade, now a star of the New York City theater world; and Corey Burch, dubbed by culture writer Molly Webster as "TheDesignatedFatKid™," who's pivoted to anti-vax politics and is running for mayor in the South Florida town where the show was set. Along the way, David faces wildfires in California and flooding rains in New York as he attempts to claw his way back into the limelight. Some sections, like one long tangent chronicling the backstory of David's second ex-wife, seem superfluous, but Taylor makes up for it with Webster's caffeinated pop-culture patter and David's indomitable determination. Readers will find plenty to applaud. Agent: Noah Ballard, Verve Talent & Literary. (Apr.)

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Review by Kirkus Book Review

A former child actor sees possibilities for reinvention in a media landscape dominated by recycled intellectual property. David Crader experienced a measure of success as an actor when, as a teen, he co-starred on Rev Beach, a supernatural-tinged TV drama that, despite a lack of critical appreciation, attracted a cult audience. Now approaching middle age, David has struggled with alcoholism in the intervening years and is the twice-divorced father of a young son, Henry. Adrift and unhappy, he gets by doing voiceover work for video games and half-heartedly running a bar. When Rev Beach unexpectedly becomes a hot commodity again--it was a fluke streaming sensation during the pandemic lockdown--David receives an offer from his old co-star (and first ex-wife), Grace Travis, to reboot the series, provided he can convince Rev Beach lead actor and current superstar Shayne Glade to participate. While there's plenty of plot (the story also concerns another Rev Beach actor's political career, various natural disasters, the machinations of radicalized Internet subcultures, and David's fraught family drama), the narrative also overflows with witty and incisive ideas. The theme of rebooting animates every thread--characters strive to reinvent themselves, start new families and careers, and rewrite their histories while an all-consuming media vortex endlessly recycles and recombines content (Shayne stars in "the stage musical adaptation of David Cronenberg's film adaptation of Don DeLillo's Cosmopolis"). Taylor's prose is unfailingly engaging as David's internal monologue cycles through sophisticated pop cultural analysis, rueful self-reflection, and sundry conspiracy theories (Hollow Earthers and lizard people get an airing), and there is true poignancy in David's interactions with his child and in his fumbling attempts at redemption. Taylor's fluency, intellectual nimbleness, and playful sense of humor call to mind the work of David Foster Wallace; the reader can easily imagine David Crader's video game adaptation of Infinite Jest. An affecting character study and excoriating indictment of the way we live now. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.