Chuck Palahniuk tackles Hollywood, in an hilarious assault on celebrity, and the Golden Age of Hollywood, when grand dames ruled the roost
Tell-All is many things: a Sunset Boulevard-inflected homage to Old Hollywood when grand dames like Bette Davis and Joan Crawford ruled the roost. A Douglas Sirk-inspired melodrama full of big gestures and muted psychic torment. A veritable Tourette’s Syndrome of rat-tat-tat name-dropping, from the A-list to the Z-list. A merciless send-up of of Lillian Hellman’s habit of butchering the truth that will have Mary McCarthy cheering from the beyond.
Our narrator is Hazie Coogan, who for decades has tended to the outsized needs of Katherine ‘Miss Kathie’ Kenton, a star of the wattage of Elizabeth Taylor and the emotional torments of Judy Garland. The survivor of multiple marriages, career comebacks and cosmetic surgeries, Miss Kathie lives the way legends should. But danger lurks when gentleman caller Webster Carlton Westward III arrives and worms his way into Miss Kathie’s heart and boudoir. Hazie discovers that this bounder has already written his celebrity tell-all memoir and that it foretells her death in a forthcoming Lillian Hellman-penned World War II musical extravaganza Unconditional Surrender, in which Miss Kathie portrays Lily defeating Japanese forces from Pearl Harbor to Nagasaki. As the body count mounts, Hazie must execute a plan to save Katherine Kenton for her fans – and for posterity.
A dark reimagining of All About Eve and an hilarious assault on celebrity, Tell-All is vintage Palahniuk.
“Chuck turns his gimlet and razor sharp pen on celebrity, with a darkly sparkling tale inspired by the classic All About Eve”
Lauren Laverne, Grazia
“Tell-All gives us the sinister interplay between an over-the-hill, overweight and much-married Hollywood diva and her seething, oppressed house-keeper, conducted in terms of the master-slave dialectic familiar from Hegel and innumerable Bette Davis movies.”
Chris Ross, Guardian
“This dark reimagining of All About Eve is a hilarious assault on celebrity”
Big Issue North
“A love letter to old Hollywood... beautifully savage”