"A wacky, twisty-turny tale of a wily artist heading off the cliff of his life."
It is a fine summer morning in San Anselmo, California and Henry Griffin, a depressed philanthropist wannabe and landscape painter, learns from his agent that a rich, famous rock star/media entrepreneur is planning to attend his art show that evening. When the mogul arrives at the California Heritage Gallery he is accompanied by the artist’s childhood sweetheart, a woman he hasn’t seen in twenty years, except in dreams, where she appears almost nightly, a heavenly image of beauty and light. Now he is overwhelmed with desire... and despair, for she is the trophy wife of a rich man. What could she possibly see in a downtrodden, besotted artist? The artist, in a state of love-struck dementia, hatches an outlandish scheme to win her back: he decides to fake his own death, thereby driving up the value of his portfolio. Then, under cover, he’ll continue to produce “undiscovered” work, get rich, and one day return to claim his one true love, and they’ll ride “Fat Boys” together into the sunset to live happily ever after.
" Perception is more important than reality” is one of the oldest unspoken governing truths of Hollywood. In HACK, Jeb Harrison reveals how this rule also applies to the art world, and its painters, agents, and collectors, with comic and bittersweet results. Struggling painter Henry “Hack” Griffin’s brief reunion with his long time unrequited love, Hadley Scofield – and with a complex, charmingly off-beat character like Hadley, the reality is always far more complex – sets in motion a series of ever-escalating ruses that eventually exposes how all the characters in the novel are unable to perceive what is real from that which they so strongly want to be real. Harrison creates a topsy-turvy carousel of disguises, mistaken identities, lies, half-truths, misunderstood motivations, and perhaps even a fable (in the form of a quasi-mythic homeless man) then sets it spinning until it ensnares all of the characters who inhabit the Bay Area’s “see-or-be-art-scene” – from bisexual ex-wives and Marin County divorcees to gay Scottish make-up artists and a rich music video producer and his ex-WWF bodyguard. Harrison gives each of these characters enough credibility to convey that he’s obviously met and known their real counterparts in his life, and an equal amount of hyperbole that makes them both funny and sad, often at the same time. Reading HACK is like a weekend getaway in Marin County: a very enjoyable way to spend your time."
Stan Chervin, screenwriter of Moneyball