Thursday, March 23rd at 7:00 p.m.
With The Player and The Return of the Player, the brilliant writer/director and author Michael Tolkin established himself as the master novelist of modern Hollywood. His new novel, NK3, set in a near-future Southern California that has been devastated by a weaponized memory-destroying virus from North Korea, is being hailed for its soulful as well as prophetic scope, at once a blistering satire and mournful elegy. We are honored to host this legendary Los Angeles author (and longtime friend of Chevalier’s Books) at the height of his powers as he charts for us a panoramic vision of a city and populace struggling to remember how to resist its own erasure. Join us for a reading, talk, q&a, and signing.
In NK3, the H LYW OD sign presides over a Los Angeles devastated by a weaponized microbe that has been accidentally spread around the globe, deleting human identity. A new aristocracy lives in a vast compound surrounded by a sixty foot tall fence. The gateway into this privileged class is a half-broken computer at the DMV—the Department of Mandatory Verification—where individuals are matched to their pre-crisis identities and selected based on practical skill from the old world. Their life inside the Fence is a perpetual orgy. Outside, thousands of mindless Drifters and Shamblers serve the elite, harvesting food and other supplies from the old box stores and distribution warehouses to fuel the “gift economy” until their work is no longer needed. The ruler, Chief, seeks guidance from two gigantic statues called The Man and The Woman. They warn him of trouble to come. But who is the person to watch: the elusive Eckmann, holed up with the last functioning plane at LAX; Shannon Squier, the chisel-wielding pop star from the pre-NK3 world; Hopper, an uncommon Drifter compelled by an inner voice to search for a wife whose name and face he doesn’t remember; or a treacherous member of the Chief’s own inner circle?
In deliciously dark prose, Tolkin winds a noose-like plot around this melee of despots, prophets, and rebels as they struggle for command and survival in a town that still manages to exert a magnetic force, even as a ruined husk.
“Michael Tolkin is an L.A. Antonioni with a sense of humor.” —New Yorker
“Brave, brilliant and barely speculative… It’s tempting to call NK3 the first book of the Trump era.”–Chris Kraus, author of I Love Dick and Summer of Hate
“…NK3 lives on many levels: as dystopian Los Angeles thriller, as metaphor for a culture shredding it s own relationship to fact and memory, and as razor-wire meditation on the loss of the self—that constantly murmuring life-force tugging us hither and yon from within and ever evading our grasp.”—Jon Robin Baitz, the writer of Other Desert Cities
Michael Tolkin is an award-winning writer, director, and producer. His novels include The Player, The Return of the Player, Among the Dead, and Under Radar. For the film adaptation of The Player, Tolkin won the Writers Guild Award, the BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, the PEN Center USA West Literary Award, and the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Crime Screenplay. Most recently, he has been a consulting producer and writer for the Showtime series Ray Donovan.