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The Goodby People

Published by McNally Editions
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

About The Author

Gavin Lambert (1924–2005) was a British screenwriter, biographer, and novelist. His first and only feature film as a director, Another Sky (1954), was praised by Luis Buñuel and Roberto Rossellini. An affair with Nicholas Ray brought Lambert to Hollywood, where he contributed to Ray’s films Bigger than Life and Bitter Victory. Lambert went on to adapt D. H. Lawrence (Sons and Lovers), Tennessee Williams (The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone), and his own novel Inside Daisy Clover for the screen. In addition to his five novels, he published definitive biographies of Natalie Wood, Norma Shearer, and Lindsay Anderson, among other film-world royalty.

Product Details

  • Publisher: McNally Editions (August 9, 2022)
  • Length: 256 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781946022455

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Raves and Reviews

"Lambert has a keen eye for the absurdities baked into the stunted lives of the talent . . . At the heart of Lambert’s novel is a deep sense of stasis, of futility, of waiting for things to shift in some way or for someone to leave you behind. But this is itself a kind of fantasy. All cities, block by block, are a result of tangled social arrangements: disagreements, backroom deals, twisted plots, unanimous votes, concessions, mistakes, conspiracy theories, empty promises, urban legends, utopian ideals—a miasma of hard and soft violence."

– Sam Russek, Gawker

"Shrewdly observes three characters in Southern California . . . This welcome reissue ought to prompt readers to discover Lambert's writing."

– Publishers Weekly

"Decades before it was fashionable, Gavin Lambert expertly wove characters of every sexual stripe into his lustrous tapestries of Southern California life."

– Armistead Maupin

"In [Lambert's] stories there is the true tenderness of pity that is not patronizing, the patience of the trained observer that is never boredom. Most of all there is enormous skill: the author has the playwright's flair for taut, meaningful dialogue; the novelist's feeling for mood; the short-story writer's love of plot; and the good movie writer's capacity for deft characterization . . . Though [his] stories are mainly confined, geographically, to Hollywood, Santa Monica, Venice (Cal.) and other near-by points, their subject is human emotion seen through a perceptive eye and evaluated by a sensitive spirit."


"In the sophisticated, elegiac style of Christopher Isherwood's The Berlin Stories . . . Lambert has respectfully, ironically, accurately looked at the place where so many movies have been made, so many lives transformed or destroyed, and endeavored to find the defining patterns beneath the facade."


"Lambert's characters are narcissistic, selfish and manipulative. They're forever changing their addresses and phone numbers, but can't decide who they're running from . . . The Goodby People is his dark glory, melancholic, becalmed and effortlessly resonant."

– Christopher Fowler, THE INDEPENDENT

"One of the brightest, wittiest people I have ever known. I was never bored with him."

– Mart Crowley

"He neither sentimentalizes nor cries sour grapes. How I wish I had written [his] book!"

– Christopher Isherwood

"For bitchy, witty and perceptive high-class gossip about Hollywood, there was no better source than the critic, screenwriter, novelist and biographer Gavin Lambert."

– Ronald Bergen, THE GUARDIAN

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