“One hell of a read!... The characters are memorable, the prose is precise, and there are some great twists to keep readers on the edge of their seats... Don’t be surprised if Goldstein’s stellar debut novel gets turned into a miniseries.” - Jeff York, PipelineArtists.com
There’s nothing fabulous about 50 for L.A. film critic Jeremy Lerner, who loses his marriage, his job, and the use of his right arm just days after the birthday party he begged his now ex-wife not to throw him. But fate is a sly devil.
Jeremy’s string of calamities leads to a game-changing emotional and creative rebirth after he meets the intoxicating Annabelle, a beguiling widow who comes to his rescue—and Jeremy to hers. If only their baggage didn’t match quite so well.
With the added support of his wise and spirited mom, Joyce, his capricious and big-hearted son, Matty, and Matty’s steadfast new boyfriend, Gabe, Jeremy begins to change in ways that surprise, inspire, and galvanize him. All of this while his career makes a head-spinning leap.
The thing is, can it last?
The Last Birthday Party combines wry observation with an everyday wistfulness for a warm, propulsive, humanly funny tale of second chances set against the alluring nuttiness of Hollywood.
Listen to the audiobook from Tantor Media
2022 Winner -
“A novel so real I kept expecting one of the characters to text me. A poignant, honest look at a single cataclysmic event and the changes, the growth, and the recoveries that follow. You will think about The Last Birthday Party long after the final page.” - W. Bruce Cameron, #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Dog’s Purpose
“A fantastic romantic comedy!... A witty and touching tale of human transformation.” - Leo Adley, Conversations with Indie Writers
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MORE PRAISE FOR THE LAST BIRTHDAY PARTY:
“Gary Goldstein is a consummate storyteller, a master at combining humor with depth. In this delightful book, we really care about his characters as we try to anticipate what's coming next. It’s a page turner with surprises around every corner. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a story that is warm, uplifting, and rewarding.”
Andrea Cagan, author of Diana Ross: Secrets of a Sparrow and A Friendly Guide to Writing and Ghostwriting
“Goldstein’s crackling wit makes his debut novel an absolute joy. His characters are wonderfully drawn; by the end they feel like old friends. Come for the frothy plot and zippy writing, stay for the heartfelt storytelling and deliciously satisfying ending. A refreshing and uplifting read, highly recommend!”
Susan Walter, author of Good as Dead
"A wonderful read: fun, insightful, and surprising right up to the last page. I found the inner life of our protagonist not only entertaining but thought provoking. Do not miss this party!"
Robin Riker, author of A Survivor’s Guide to Hollywood
"The adjectives 'hilarious' and 'painful' have never been so seamlessly married as they are in the pages of Gary Goldstein's new novel, The Last Birthday Party, an achingly funny love letter to 'midlife' in all its anxiety, anguish, and awe. I loved it."
David Dean Bottrell, author of Working Actor
“Screenwriter Gary Goldstein has created a beleaguered protagonist worth rooting for in his debut novel, and surrounded him with a charming ensemble cast worthy of your favorite rom-com. The Last Birthday Party is a party you don’t want to miss, a twisty journey with surprises and setbacks—and a second chance at love tantalizingly out of reach.”
Ken Pisani, author of Thurber Prize for American Humor finalist AMP’D.
"Engaging and engrossing, I couldn't put it down."
Jane Porter, New York Times bestselling author of Flirting with Forty and The Good Woman
“Wonderfully written, with characters I wanted as friends. This story is a reminder that when times are hard the best thing in the world can be right around the corner.”
Ruth Clampett, USA Today bestselling author of Animate Me
“A breath of fresh air from L.A.! Goldstein has created a wholly relatable cast of characters who are wise and good while at the same time facing their flaws and missteps. We follow the two principal characters on their journey to self-knowledge and, hopefully, to a second chance at happiness. L.A., too, is a charming character in this delightful paean to the City of Angels.”
Jean P. Moore, author of the award-winning Tilda’s Promise
“Who says there are no second acts in American life? Brisk, funny, and wise, with a keen eye for the absurdities of L.A. living, in a city of constant reinvention, Gary Goldstein has written a warm, appealing, and heartfelt coming-of-middle-age story.”
• Mark Sarvas, American Book Award-winning author of Memento Park.
“With wry humor and compassion, Gary Goldstein has written a vividly drawn portrait of a year in the life of a 50-year-old man navigating the ups and downs of midlife romance, family dynamics, and professional challenges. A great read.”
Peter Lefcourt, author of The Dreyfus Affair: A Love Story