September 14, 2006
Michael Tolkin takes on L.A. excess, family dysfunction and private-school politics in sequel to his
Hate the game, love 'The Player'
(Page 4 - Previous Page)
On some of those occasions, I have observed that Tolkin seemed to be under a dark cloud. So I asked him if, like Griffin, during the writing of the novel the balance had shifted between his own pessimism and optimism. He quipped, "Yeah, but I won't tell you which way."
But as we discussed reasons for optimism in a world of worry, Tolkin said the following: "Judaism teaches that despair is really a sin. That's as important a teaching as any. We have a couple of days a year proscribed for mourning, and that's it. And you don't bury somebody on Shabbos."
To put it another way: Jewish tradition and storytelling is partial to the well-articulated kvetch. However, for a story with a happy ending, you'll have to turn to Griffin Mill and "The Return of The Player."
Tom Teicholz is a film producer in Los Angeles. Everywhere else, he's an author and journalist who has written for The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Interview and The Forward.