TRUE GRANDEUR is the tale of Conrad Arlington, a young man who moves to Los Angeles to pursue his dream of becoming a great artist. Within a few short years of his arrival, Conrad’s success as a writer brings him to the attention of Gracie Garrison, a beautiful and alluring socialite whose glamorous lifestyle is just as mysterious as the rumors that surround her. After spending a spirited and adventurous night on the town together – one fueled by an excess of beautiful people, extravagant parties, gallery openings, and the madness of a fallen director – Conrad ultimately falls in love with her, believing them to be destined, however, when he awakes the next morning to find that Gracie is gone, he is distraught, and thus embarks on a relentless journey to find her, resulting in a tumultuous spiral of passion, art, and romance as he searches his soul to uncover the greatest mystery of all – true love.
At its core, True Grandeur is not just a love story, but rather an in-depth character study on contemporary romanticism, of how ideals shape one’s need for individuality and importance, and of how sociological factors such as fame, wealth, and social class contribute to one’s ability to receive – or not receive – true love. It’s a story of what it means to feel deeply, and attempts to accurately illustrate the internal progression of feeling that is the artist’s journey.
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‘Capturing the look and feel of young Hollywood’s film industry through an all-night date similar to the way the novel and film Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist did with New York City’s music industry, TRUE GRANDEUR succeeds on multiple levels.’ -IndieReader
‘This novel gives readers a mildly intriguing behind-the-scenes peek at the glamorous, corrupting party culture of the Hollywood Hills. The tension between Conrad’s creative ambitions and the way in which love causes him to abandon them is what drives the novel.’ -Kirkus Reviews
‘True Grandeur: A Hollywood Novel by Cal R. Barnes is a well-crafted tale of romance, a story of one man’s search for love, for purpose, and ultimately for himself… Cal R. Barnes’ prose is beautiful and readers will love the insightful passages and the psychological depth of the story… the pacing is spot-on, quick, and gripping. The story is a masterpiece in the area of entertainment and the magnetic characters, coupled with the intensity of action, will arrest the attention and interest of readers.’ -Readers Favorite
‘Maintaining a fever-pitch of emotion throughout, debut novelist Cal R. Barnes invites us into the soul of a young and rising star… readers will want to write their own artistic journey after this tale.’ – Mari Carlson, The Midwest Book Review
‘Cal R. Barnes writes with an insider’s love-hate of LA, like Scorsese did for New York in Taxi-driver. Los Angeles is, perhaps, the best character in the story.’ -Robert McOuat, Author, Professor Gardner-Webb University, NC