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The Finished Man

"Murphy sends up writers, writing, ambition and desire
in this quirky, gleeful farce."
Publisher's Weekly

"Welcome to LA, Frank.
You'll never be the same again."
Kirkus Reviews

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Following the success of his award-winning debut novel, Sean Murphy returns with a hip, imaginative, and slyly comedic tale set amidst a West Coast world of wildfires and wannabes, hipsters and heavy smog—offering a wry, rollicking look at love, the literati, and Southern California.

Frank, a penniless and hapless writer, has nothing to show for himself but an unfinished novel and an unclear future. So when he bumps into Max — an arrogant former classmate who is a truly wretched, but highly successful, author — Frank agrees to take up residence in his garage apartment. After all, a glimpse at the inner workings of Max's glittering life will provide great material for his book.

Soon, Frank is swept up in a world of glossy cocktail parties, nouveau-wealth, and near-celebrity—as well as a passionate love affair with Max's beautiful wife. And although his nemesis possesses everything Frank desires, he remains secure in his sense of artistic superiority—until Max's latest work heralds him as one of the great new voices in American literature. Seething with envy, Frank sets out to uncover the true source of his newfound talent and gets a lot more than he bargained for. Told in Murphy's distinctive, tongue-in-cheek style, this is a lively and engaging book that will appeal to Murphy's established fans and win him new ones.

Bantam/​Dell, February 2004, ISBN: 0553382446, $13