Memphis Movie (2015)


Memphis Movie Final Cover12

“Quirky, funny, wild. Corey Mesler’s witty, sardonic voice leads the reader through a rollicking, ribald romp. Here’s sophisticated, elegant Memphis, mashed up with seedy, bedbuggy, front-yard-in-a-tangle Memphis. And the movie folks have everybody all stirred up. Brilliant!”

Cary Holladay, author of The Quick Change Artist: Stories



“I have long suspected, because of my hubris, that I would discover the lost continent of Atlantis.  Little did I know that it would turn out to be a movie.  And what an amazing one, very unique and persuasive and strange and sometimes quite funny, written and directed by this original, clever, funny writer – who is now also a star.”
Ann Beattie, author of Chilly Scenes of Winter and The New Yorker Stories.



Memphis Movie is a delight. It is a bright narrative filled with non-stop humor. Its laughs are the best kind.  They come from a keen observation of human aspirations coming in conflict with human weaknesses. The wild assortment of characters seem to lovingly drift toward the ‘loser’ end of the spectrum. However much fun Corey Mesler has in telling their story, he always seems to find their dignity along the way. Highly recommended.”

Stephen Tobolowsky, star of Groundhog Day and author of The Dangerous Animals Club


“Corey Mesler’s novel Memphis Movie reads like a train you caught just in time and are glad to be on, no matter where it’s going. What I like about it are the accuracy in which he records the clamor and frenzy and desperation and massively collaborative effort of film production, and that the setting is in my home town, including what I like to hope is the same house I lived in on Rembert 40 years ago. With an intimacy gleaned from somewhere, Corey knows producers and screen writers and all the people involved in film production who keep plates spinning and balls in the air while the meter is running. This is a novel with humor, clarity and soul, and I will give each one of you who buys a copy a shiny 10 cents piece.”

Chris Ellis, star of October Sky and The Dark Knight Rises


“Few Hollywood movies have any lasting value.  The same can be said of novels about Hollywood.  All the good ones would line a very short shelf.  With Memphis Movie, Corey Mesler adds another permanent treasure to this exclusive canon.  Equal parts expose, memoir and fantasy, Memphis Movie is insightful, satirical, funny and ghostly.  Place Mesler’s novel on that shelf beside They Shoot Horses, Don’t They, Play It as It Lays, Get Shorty, What Makes Sammy Run? and The Day of the Locust.”

William Hjorstberg, author of Fallen Angel (from which the movie Angel Heart was made) and Jubilee Hitchhiker: The Life and Times of Richard Brautigan


“I have difficulty believing that Corey Mesler was not nurtured on celluloid. This dark, funny, mysterious, sexy novel is so spot-on in its recreations of film-land zeitgeist as to be spooky. And nestled cunningly in this highly-entertaining, sheet-ripping romp is a serious and well-crafted book about talent, confidence, memory, loyalty, and the every-day hauntings that happen only to the living. Dan Yumont is a major character in this novel: a true Hollywood wild-man, a walking id completely committed to his own sensory overload. What saves him from being a Hollywood trope is that he just happens to be an inspired and brilliant actor and acting is the one thing in his life that he takes seriously. On top of the rest he is bold and very funny. Writing is my passion and I don’t roll over easily for the writing of others; however, I was charmed by this book. I’ve started it over a second time, and recommend it heartily.

I’ve read any number of books about the movies. I’ve never before read one that I sent to my publisher who  bought it faster than he bought mine. Corey Mesler is an undiscovered treasure. This book  screams to be a movie. The role of Dan Yumont, the drug-addled priapic hero is waiting for a super-star with the balls to do it. Brad? Colin? Sean? Johnny? The characters are sharp, smart, and funny. I was sorry when I finished it. So I started it over again.”


Peter Coyote, star of E.T. and Northfork, and author of Sleeping Where I Fall


“[Memphis Movie] is a masterwork, Corey. As Seymour said to Buddy, all your stars were out when you wrote it. So many breathtaking moves, I kept wondering: How does he do it? Prose as nimble as Baryshnikov, imagery to die for, and the control of some kind of a sorcerer alchemist lens-grinder. Kick your computer to pieces; you’ll never write so well again. If this book gets the recognition it deserves, you’ll be a constellation. And oh yeah, I really liked it.”
Steve Stern, author of The Frozen Rabbi and the Jewish Book Award winning, The Wedding Jester


“In Corey Mesler’s tale of movie magic, he shows us how the sausage is made. And in learning of the process, the ingredients, the myriad hands that touch it all, the end product is made that much more delectable. This is a story that is all at once funny and frustrating, mystical and real, sexy and sad. If you love movies and/or you love Memphis (and it’s clear that Corey is passionate for both), you will want to read this book.”

Richard J. Alley, author of Five Night Stand


Memphis Movie, freshly released by Soft Skull press, is the latest book from prolific poet and novelist and all around Renaissance man Corey Mesler. This novel spirals deep into the moviemaking process, the chaotic world of stardom, and the increasingly unstable tectonic shifts of director Eric Warberg’s psychology. Human relationships are handled at times delicately, at times callously, always with honesty, in this masterful synthesis of fiction and reality set in the richly contradictory landscape of Memphis.”

–Chelsea Laine Wells, Hypertext Magazine


Memphis Movie, Corey Mesler’s latest wild ride of a novel, combines Hollywood cynicism and debauchery with Memphis soul and eccentricity. The result is a broadly comic tale with a surprisingly sweet, rather sorrowful afterglow…[It’s] is a playful novel, full of sly and not-so-sly jokes, but it’s not particularly lighthearted. Play can be intense and unsettling, and that’s the case here. This is ultimately a story about failure, aging, and death, about the way people come to terms with them or fail to…For all its waggishness, it’s a novel with a heart. Warberg’s plight, as bizarre and implausible as it might be, is a human one, and it touches the heart. Mesler’s wit and fondness for the absurd complement but never obscure the soul of this novel and its first-rate storytelling.”
Maria Browning, Chapter 16


The book trailer: Written by Corey and Cheryl Mesler, Voice over by David Tankersley, Direction and Camera by Willy Bearden


And then there’s this:

From Leonard Gill’s Memphis Flyer blog (8/2015):

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