As a young man, John Reynolds fled the rural dead-end of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania for Los Angeles, lured by the promise of a life fueled by the excitement and creativity of show business. But as a 47-year-old entertainment lawyer in Hollywood, Reynolds finds himself existentially unfulfilled, working for the stars rather than beside them. He resides in a beautiful mansion with his wife and daughter, and his business is booming, but Reynold’s remains despondent as his attempts to pivot into producing and writing continually fail.
Depressed and at a creative dead-end, Reynolds finds himself inexplicably drawn back to the historical setting of his youth: he’s secretly signed up to participate in a weekend-long reenactment of the Battle of Gettysburg in California’s Chino Valley. Just before his departure, an ex-Playmate—the very centerfold of Reynolds’s adolescent daydreams—pitches him her idea for a reality TV show. When Reynolds impulsively invites the Playmate and her bombshell best friend, a former Miss Spain, to accompany him to Chino Valley, his plans for a solitary weekend of escapism turn into much more than he bargained for.
With a compulsively readable narrative that offers a satirical portrait of Hollywood—the deal-making, the politics, the pitches—Gettysburg is an intelligent and powerful book about contemporary America.