“I Should Have Stayed Home” by Horace McCoy

I Should Have Stayed Home by Horace McCoy
Paperback cover 1955 Berkley Books

“I Should Have Stayed Home” by Horace McCoy is a novel that explores the darker side of Hollywood and the American Dream. The book follows the story of a young man named Ralph, who moves to Hollywood with dreams of becoming a successful actor. However, as he becomes entrenched in the glamour and glitz of the industry, he quickly discovers that the reality is far from what he had imagined.

The book paints a stark picture of the 1940’s Hollywood studio system, where the movie industry was turning out pictures at a factory pace. The characters in the novel are all struggling to make it in the industry, and many of them resort to desperate measures in order to achieve success. Ralph, for example, finds himself caught up in a web of lies and deceit as he tries to navigate the cutthroat world of Hollywood. He becomes embroiled in a love triangle with a beautiful actress and a powerful producer, and soon finds himself in a dangerous situation that threatens to destroy his career and his life.

The novel is also a commentary on the American Dream, and how it can be corrupted by greed and ambition. The characters in the book are all chasing their own version of the American Dream, but many of them find that it is an elusive and ultimately unattainable goal. Ralph realizes that his dream of becoming a film star is nothing more than a pipe dream, and he is forced to confront the harsh realities of the world he has entered.

Horace McCoy

“I Should Have Stayed Home” is a powerful and thought-provoking novel that offers a glimpse into the seedy underbelly of Hollywood and the American Dream. It is a cautionary tale about the dangers of chasing fame and fortune at any cost, and it serves as a reminder of the importance of staying true to oneself. The novel is a must-read for anyone interested in Hollywood history and the American Dream, and it is a powerful reminder of the dangers of losing oneself in the pursuit of success.

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