MOVIE GAME Michael Ebner

“The Brothers Coen would be proud”
- J.O’Grady, Writers’ Guild Award Winner

“A cinephile’s search for family, sex, and laughs, wrapped in
a mystery. A fast-paced, humorous novel”
Kirkus Reviews

“Movie Game is exciting and fun to read. Ebner’s writing style reminded me
of James Patterson’s, short snappy sentences that keep you wanting more.”
- San Francisco Book Review

“Visceral, lyrical scenes and his pacing of the novel is skilful.”
- Elise Howard, editor of The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

“Joe is a well-developed character. He’s angry and full of rage about the loss of his girlfriend, and it’s a look into the mind of a young boy who has just experienced a huge loss and doesn’t have any idea how to process it all. It’s easy to feel for him in his situation, and his need to control the outcome of events. The writing style is fast paced and oftentimes funny, and its reminiscent of a black comedy”
- Portland Book Review 


It’s been three years since Joe’s father vanished. Now seventeen, he is unaware that government agents are watching him in case his dad makes contact. Joe is too distracted by his secret girlfriend, midnight swims in the pools of strangers, free drinks from his buddies at the movie game and the glamorous college student, Felicity. But his movie-esque existence and addiction to fiction is set to collide with a heavy dose of reality this summer when he discovers everything is not what it seems: His secret girlfriend wants to be the real thing. His college fling may have ulterior motives. And the government agents want co-operation to catch his missing father. All this and the three year old death of Joe’s first girlfriend Alice are going to cause him to face some dark truths. It’s no longer a movie game. This is his life, and he wants to win.

More reviews and comments:
“‘Movie Game’ by Michael Ebner begins with an incident cinephiles will relate to; Joe, our protagonist, is so enraged by a couple talking during a film that he follows them home and vandalises their front door. “Movie talkers attract stalkers” is his motto and it is one he wholeheartedly follows through. It’s an opening that grabs the reader’s attention, refusing to give it back until the end of the novel. Essentially, ‘Movie Game’ is about a film-obsessed teenager, his overactive libido and his messed-up family, but that’s a reductive way to describe it; there’s far more afoot here than you find in a typical YA novel and, if anything, I would suggest it is more of an adult book due to the varied references and ideas. The tough-guy dialogue often reminded me of Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade or Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe, which I think is quite a feat; the sparsity of the language and its lack of emotion point to the trauma of Joe’s adolescence (don’t worry; this is not one of those books) and his preference for ignoring it.  The noir-ish tone runs throughout; there are femme fatales (albeit femme fatales whose modus operandi is to offer intimate favours in return for their targets reading a book), shadowy government agents and serious crimes in the background while Joe spends his time sneaking into his local multiplex. I really recommend ‘Movie Game.’  It’s inventive, knowing and witty, clever without being irritating.”
- Katy Goodwin-Bates, Reviewer for Fourth & Sycamore Literary Journal
(Read the full review: I’LL HAVE THE HURT LOCKER CAPPUCCINO here)

“On the surface, Joe seems like a typical high school student. He’s snarky, rebellious, and equally obsessed with girls and movies. But beneath his devil-may-care attitude lies a deep emotional reservoir of pain and abandonment issues. Joe’s story is entertaining, and  Ebner keeps the pages turning with a mix of humor and mystery.” - Kirkus Reviews

4 stars San Francisco Book Review

4 stars Portland Book Review

 Novel: Fiction & Literature (Cover design by Tom Sanderson)

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Agent:Corinne Shoji

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Agent: Aleksandra Lapinska

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Movie Game – Pen and Picture Publishing 2016