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The Boston Globe


Book Review

‘The Reenactments’ by Nick Flynn

How would you cast your life, if Hollywood were making a film of it? What would it mean to have a huge star play your alcoholic con man father? A famous actress your suicidal mother?

That’s the situation Nick Flynn faced when his 2005 memoir, “Another [expletive] Night in Suck City,” was made into the 2012 movie “Being Flynn.” And so, on the set with Robert De Niro, Julianne Moore, and Paul Dano (who played the author), he chronicled and examined the 2011 experience, exploring the regrets and absurdity of seeing your worst days portrayed by others for the silver screen. The resulting book, “The Reenactments,” is a kind of memoir about a memoir, a study of art and process, and also a reexamination of trauma that must have once seemed safely filed away.

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