Unfocused if intriguing ... Aims to capture the totality of the modern movie business in a tale framed around one agent’s indiscretions, a power struggle between two producers and the unassuming director caught in the middle. But the 58-year-old author appears less interested in that central story than in its myriad digressions, as flashbacks paint a chilling portrait of the disparate and damaged personalities ensnared by Hollywood’s allure ... It all makes for an unflinchingly cynical take on Hollywood’s machinations and the ways in which outsize egos compromise art ... Nelson weaves through this narrative via nonlinear plotting, frequent point-of-view shifts and numerous forays into side characters’ perspectives. There’s something to be said for keeping readers on their toes, but the ambitious structure grows tiresome ... Unfortunately, Nelson precedes the wrenching epilogue with a bombastic, tone-shifting finale that’s as abrupt as it is incongruent. When hundreds of pages of methodically laid groundwork are cast aside so jarringly, one can’t help but wonder whether the journey through Nelson’s Los Angeles was worth it.