Film star William Harding is fed up with having his personal life examined in public. The protagonist of this novel, the first in five years from Hawke (best known for his acting role in Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy), is also disgusted at the ways in which he has allowed his marriage to collapse around him. His debut Broadway role offers him a chance at redemption and turns this bracing book into a considered meditation on the evil of celebrity and the demanding yet restorative power of theatre.
The actor William Harding has cheated on his wife, and it is all over the news — even taxi drivers have started lecturing him about morality. William is the star of this vivid drama from Ethan Hawke, whose first marriage (to Uma Thurman) broke up amid allegations of infidelity, and who is unusual among Hollywood actors not just for writing novels, but also for doing serious stage work as well as movies. All that feeds into this book, where William’s disintegrating life finds a new dynamic in Shakespeare, as he plays Hotspur in a New York production of Henry IV (Part I).