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Generation Chef by Karen Stabiner
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Limited Engagements

LIMITED ENGAGEMENTS a novel    [Purchase Book]

“Engrossing. . . hums with authenticity.” - The New York Times

“Penetrating views. . . of the new generation that is running things in Hollywood these days.” - Publishers Weekly

“Always knowledgeable. . . sharp, funny and rueful.” - Kirkus Reviews

“An auspicious beginning. . . It deserves more than a limited engagement in local bookstores." - Denver Post

Limited Engagements book cover


Night steals over the fabled Malibu Colony. The distant whoosh of traffic from the Pacific Coast Highway lulls the senses; the surf is up on the ocean. Jake Rubens, a 29-year-old studio production chief, lives in the Colony with director Rae Drummond. Right now they’re in bed.

Without being too obtrusive, we look in on the embracing couple and peer into their minds. Surprise! Jake is not concentrating on Rae; rather, he is wondering whether his new four-picture “indie” deal is going to go through with the studio powers in New York. And Rae has more on her mind than the moment: She is getting more paranoid daily, waiting for her proposed movie to go through the labyrinthian machinery of Universal. Rae wants to leave television behind and move up to directing films.

Lest we think for a single frozen frame that only those in the movie industry are prone to madness, glance at Jake’s soon-to-be ex-wife, the redoubtable Marilyn, who in the throes of a preliminary-decree depression, learned how to use a calculator with glittering ferocity. She became, in the space of six breathless months, a crackerjack realtor bent on earning nothing short of $200,000 in commissions her first year. People, for Marilyn are literally properties-she refers to a psychiatrist as “the walnut grove in Bakersfield.”

In Limited Engagements, Karen Stabiner offers us a wry look at deal making in the movies, in real estate, and in love. From the entertainment lawyer who has never graced the inside of a courtroom to the screenwriter whose new $525 briefcase signals his hopeful return after ten years of retirement, to the dozens of people who “take” meetings rather than attend them -- this is the cast Stabiner has placed on the pages of Limited Engagements with an unwavering but affectionate eye for their absurdities and their humanity.