Smash Cut

Smash Cut

A Memoir of Howard & Art & the '70s & the '80s

Book - 2015
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The author of the acclaimed City Poet returns with a searing memoir of life in 1980s New York City--a colorful and atmospheric tale of wild bohemians, glamorous celebrity, and complicated passions--with cameo appearances by Madonna, Robert Mapplethorpe, William Burroughs, and a host of others legendary artists. Brad Gooch arrived in New York in the late 1970s, yearning for artistic and personal freedom. Smash Cut is his bold and intimate memoir of this exhilarating time and place. At its center is his love affair with film director Howard Brookner, pieced together from fragments of memory and fueled by a panoply of emotions, from blazing ecstasy to bleakest despair. As both men try to reconcile love and fidelity with the irresistible desire to enjoy the freedom of the age, they live together and apart. Gooch works briefly as a model in Milan, then returns to the city and discovers his vocation as an artist. Brookner falls ill with a mysterious virus that soon has a terrifying name: AIDS. And the story, and life in the city, is suddenly overshadowed by this new demon plague that will ravage a generation and transform the creative world. Gooch charts the progress of Brookner through his illness, and writes unforgettably about endings: of a great talent, a passionate love affair, and an incandescent era.
Publisher: New York : Harper, c2015
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780062354952
0062354957
Characteristics: 233 p. ill. ; 24 cm

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l
LaFilm
Dec 01, 2015

Didn't know what to expect when reading this, but turned out to be very interesting. Good read!

j
jbmcfarland
Oct 20, 2015

Brad Gooch has captured the 1970s and 1980s time period brilliantly, complete with its out-of-control population and attitudes, in New York. The rowdy period is often glamorized and cleaned up for general consumption whereas it was in fact clique-y, nasty and seedy and he saw and participated in it all. It was not pretty. Gooch's memoir is surprisingly heart-felt even though his approach to his emotionally-loaded past is to try to be reportorial and descriptive. He, of course, gives so much away while he tries to be objective. The book, a page-turner, is one of the most honest about the time period without revising history as Patti Smith has done. For example, Gooch's brief encounters with Robert Mapplethorpe tell a very different story from the one Smith has remembered for literary posterity in her book. Yes! Yes! and Yes!

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