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Review: High Tolerance by Mike Sager

In this artful page-turner, a beloved superstarlet, a controversial billionaire Hip Hop mogul, and a television writer/producer idled by a demoralizing strike are linked together improbably by murder, domestic heartbreak, a sex video . . . and their inclusion on a secret subscription list for an exclusive designer strain of medical marijuana. Over a span of three seemingly ordinary days and nights in Los Angeles, the world wobbles on its digital axis, and futures are forever changed.

Hollywood, January 2008. The Writers Guild of America is on strike. An increasingly peevish viewing audience is relegated to a starvation diet of reruns and old movies. What happens when a series of shocking, deadly, and prurient events boils over into a perfect storm of serendipitous, round-the-clock programming? And what becomes of the major players, whose lives are inalterably masticated by the public's right to know?

High Tolerance is the second novel by the award-winning Rolling Stone and Esquire journalist Mike Sager, whose work has inspired a number of films, including the classic Boogie Nights. He summons his considerable descriptive and narrative powers-and three decades behind the scenes covering celebrities, gangs, drugs, and crime-to weave together a raw and insightful tale of complicated lives in the shifting racial landscape of turn-of-the-century Los Angeles, the dream factory from which the American Zeitgeist is exported around the globe.

Drawing from his three decades of journalism, covering the behind the scenes of gangs, drugs, violence and celebrities, Mike Sager put to pen an edgy novel filled with urban vernacular that could be the lead story on any major high profile city. A light and quick read filled with characters that bring realism and entertainment for a plot that weaves together a Hollywood actress, hip hop superstar and a tv writer who find themselves all caught up in situations that create intense drama for the reader.

For those who may be sensitive to explicit language, there are references made throughout the book that may be offensive to some, just to mention. I know for myself, I struggled with reading throughout due to the content at times but I appreciate the novel for an interesting plot and all that it entailed creating the tone of a certain lifestyle and experience to be as realistic as possible. Even though, this book was not for me, I know that there are many readers whom it will. 

Reviewed by Michelle Bowles

Book Information
Publisher: The Sager Group
Publication date: 5/15/2013
Pages: 282

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