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Beyond the Beyond [Hardcover]

Lee Goldberg
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 1997
Ex-cop Charlie Willis is assigned to a security detail for Pinnacle Pictures and finds himself dealing with an agent who eats human flesh, an assassin with a love for power drills, and a well-endowed actress who kills with her breasts.

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From Kirkus Reviews

When a Hollywood studio, as part of its ambition to launch a new TV network, decides to remake a science-fiction series that became a cult hit after cancellation 25 years ago, all hell breaks loose. This time out, ex-cop Charlie Willis (My Gun Has Bullets, 1995, TV writer-producer Goldberg's debut audit of filmdom's ranking grotesques) has what could prove a mission impossible. As security head at Pinnacle Pictures, he's responsible for protecting a considerable corporate investment in the revival of Beyond the Beyond. But, unfortunately, the actors and production talent associated with the futuristic fantasy's renaissance soon find themselves under intense, often deadly, pressures. Initially, Charlie suspects Clive Odett, head of a rapacious agency known only as The Company, which will stop at nothing to control hit programs. While Odett and his murderous minions are indeed making key players offers they can't refuse, the down-and-dirty work is being done by a band of maniacally devoted fans who view any changes in the cast or format of Beyond the Beyond as sacrilege. Abetting their homicidal efforts to maintain the status quo ante is Guy Goddard (a deranged has-been who starred as Captain Pierce, heroic helmsman of the starship Endeavor on its abortive treks through the dark side of a vividly imagined cosmos). As the death toll mounts, an increasingly desperate Charlie makes himself a target by purporting to replace a slain teen idol in the role of Captain Pierce. In costume (if not character), the down-to-earth house dick, in a fashion befitting the La La Land setting, tempts a host of hostile fates to save the studio's prize property. Black comedy from the Left Coast--and an outrageously entertaining take on the loathsome folkways of contemporary showbiz. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Lee Goldberg is an acclaimed TV writer/producer and a New York Times bestselling author. His many books include KING CITY, WATCH ME DIE, the 15 novels in the MONK series of mysteries, and the international #1 bestseller THE HEIST, which he wrote with Janet Evanovich. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Beyond Believability Feb. 11 2004
Format:Hardcover
Charlie Willis is back in another TV mystery, this time about the misadventures of a new network attempting to revive a Star Trek-like show from the sixties, called Beyond the Beyond, and a rogue talent agency. Charlie, now a security chief for his old studio, is assigned to protect a studio writer who is being threatened by the talent agency who wants to sign him.
Things get waaaaay out of hand when the actor who once played Beyond the Beyond's Captain, now a psychotic recluse, orders his fans to kill the new cast. In order to figure out what's going on, Charlie has to go undercover as the NEW captain in order to draw out the assassins.
This is an amusing farce and I read the whole book in a single sitting, but I can understand why Goldberg didn't keep writing about this cast of characters - there's only so much about TV you can make fun of...it's already a joke.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Beyond Believability Feb. 11 2004
Format:Hardcover
Charlie Willis is back in another TV mystery, this time about the misadventures of a new network attempting to revive a Star Trek-like show from the sixties, called Beyond the Beyond, and a rogue talent agency. Charlie, now a security chief for his old studio, is assigned to protect a studio writer who is being threatened by the talent agency who wants to sign him.
Things get waaaaay out of hand when the actor who once played Beyond the Beyond's Captain, now a psychotic recluse, orders his fans to kill the new cast. In order to figure out what's going on, Charlie has to go undercover as the NEW captain in order to draw out the assassins.
This is an amusing farce and I read the whole book in a single sitting, but I can understand why Goldberg didn't keep writing about this cast of characters - there's only so much about TV you can make fun of...it's already a joke.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  27 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book I've Read In A Long time! Feb. 15 2011
By Buddy Gott - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I made the mistake of starting this book late at night when I had to get up very early the next day for work. I told myself I'd only read for a half hour or so. Well, that didn't happen. I loved the book right from the beginning and I ended up reading about a hundred pages that night. I was tired at work the next day, but it was well worth it!

I loved this book. The story is very compelling and the characters are fantastic. Also, what I loved most is that DEAD SPACE is hilarious. I laughed out loud many, many times while reading it.

As I got towards the end of the book, I got a little bummed out knowing that my time with the book was close to ending. To me, that's always the ultimate indicator of a great book.

Like I said, I loved this one!

P.S. - I'd like to also suggest two other of Lee's books that I love: MY GUN HAS BULLETS and THE MAN WITH THE IRON-ON BADGE. If you're looking for great reads, you can't go wrong with them!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Over-the-top fun! Feb. 15 2011
By Coral Russell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Making fun of Hollywood isn't new. There are a lot of TV shows and movies that do it. Heck, Kathy Griffin is making a career out of it. But this is the first time I've seen a book hit the mark. Mr. Goldberg uses his extensive behind-the-scenes knowledge of Hollywood to make fun of movie stars, showbiz, Trekkies, Star Wars fan boys, and all the other movers and shakers. There are two relatively 'sane' people the story revolves around and, well, the rest are pretty much bat poop crazy! I hope you laugh, gasp, and chuckle as much as I did.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Complicated satire Jan. 17 2011
By Ginahmk - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a very, very funny book, but as one other reviewer said...really 3 books in one. The beginning was complicated with so many characters, in such twisted subplots, I was half-way through the book before I had them straight. That said, this bizarre story is on-target with the sci- fi crowd, those die-hard Trekkies (and die hard they do). Snork (Spock), Pierce (Kirk) are ready to annihilate the evil aliens (the Company) who have are replacing the starship crew with the young and beautiful in the new TV remake. You smile, you laugh and you keep turning the pages. The private investigator part, was forced...how long did this guy have to go until he guessed who may be behind all the murders, explosions, etc??? Yet the action never lets up and you are car-jacked into the third weakest subplot, the killer agents of Hollywood. If you think your boss is bad, wait till you meet these. This was the least funny, just lots of blood. Beware, Goldberg is like Bentley Little, there is no sexual situation or blood bath too extreme to include, so not for the squeamish. Overall, great read, written in the 90's but still better than many over the last decade.
9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Over the top funny Star Trek parody Aug. 31 2000
By Author Bill Peschel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Stop me if you've heard this one before: An old science-fiction television series about the adventures of a starship crew traveling through space -- long canceled but still popular with fans -- is revived to form the backbone of a newly created network.
So far, so good. Sounds like "Star Trek" to me. But television producer and writer Lee Goldberg has taken that story, thrown in seriously twisted agents, actors and sci-fi fans, hit the frappe button, and spun out "Beyond the Beyond," an over-the-top melange of ultra-violence, sick humor and black comedy.
Everyone wears a target in "Beyond the Beyond." Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock are mutated into the Endeavor's Captain Pierce and Mr. Snork, whose fans emulate the latter character's elephant nose. There's a network boss who creates shows like "Siamese Cops" about a police officer with two heads, and a superagent who uses any tactic to keep his talent under contract.
So when "Beyond the Beyond" is revived for The Big Network, it lets loose a tractor-trailer load of nuts and flakes, especially when the actor who played Captain Pierce, Guy Goddard, attempts to reclaim his role, aided by a group of equally demented fans.
As the body count rises into the stratosphere, it is up to studio security agent Charlie Willis to sort out the problems. Willis is more than up to the job, and comes across as sane (he's only one of two characters with any redeeming qualities) and realistic enough about Hollywood to keep his other job as owner/manager of a storage facility.
So whether you would enjoy "Beyond the Beyond" depends entirely on your taste for humor that knows no boundaries for taste. This is a book that should come with an advisory for mature readers. It's Mel Brooks with a laser blaster. Its humor is so wide-ranging and so scattershot that there's something to offend every reader, especially those who take "Star Trek" and its ilk seriously.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wild ride through the worlds of H'wood studios & sci-fi fandom March 9 2011
By philosophymom - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
To get a sense of Lee Goldberg's DEAD SPACE, imagine combining the essences of "The Player" (Robert Altman's 1992 satire of Hollywood studios) and "Galaxy Quest" (the 1999 take-off on a Trek-like series and its devotees), then draining off any residual seriousness and replacing it with pure testosterone. Shake (or stir), load into an ink cartridge, hand the pen to someone possessed by the ghost of Raymond Chandler, and let the hijinx ensue...

which is what they do in DEAD SPACE (originally published in 1997 as BEYOND THE BEYOND), a wild ride through the world of Hollywood deals and the egomaniacs who make them. A studio that is not Paramount decides to lauch a TV network that is not the UPN, proposing to anchor its prime-time line-up with a resurrected sci-fi series that is not "Star Trek." Some obsessed fans who are not Trekkies, marshalled by a washed-up actor who is not William Shatner, are prepared to wreak havoc if the new incarnation of their beloved program-- ominously slated to be cast with youthful teen-idol types-- is in any way unfaithful to the original. Meanwhile, a talent agency apparently set on taking over the world seems determined to start with this venture, making big trouble for any associated parties who won't sign onto its roster. Assorted freelance crazies fill out the novel's cast, at the center of which sits the one sane man in Tinseltown, studio security guard and ex-cop Charlie Willis (whom Mr. Goldberg's more devoted fans will have met in a previous novel set in this milieu). Assigned to the set of the re-booted "Beyond the Beyond," our likable hero attempts to stem the ever-rising body count and save the show by joining its cast and boldly going where he's least welcome: straight to the helm of the starship that is not the Enterprise, to face enemies who make the Klingons look like, ummm, Care Bears.

Warning-- This tale is immense fun, but it includes enough gore, sex, profanity, explosions, and unfair stereotyping of nerds to completely put off most of the gentle souls I'd ever be likely to recommend a clever book to. To be sure, the tone is high satire (and, on reflection, I guess most of my friends could probably handle that nerd-mocking thing without much difficulty), but DEAD SPACE is definitely not for the squeamish. As to whether it's for *you*, a mere $2.99 investment will get you the Kindle version and the chance to find out.

Full disclosure-- I got my e-copy for free from the author (whom I do not know personally) as part of a give-away campaign connected to the book's re-release. In return, I promised to give it an honest review anywhere online.
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