On October 30, 1938, Orson Welles presented an hour-long broadcast of H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds. Through simulated news stories, Welles described an invasion of Earth by alien creatures from Mars. The broadcast caused panic among the populace, and it helped to make Welles (in)famous overnight. But did Welles have his eyes set on only fame and glory, or was there a deeper purpose behind his actions? What was Welles not telling us?
Author Mac Boyle crafts an intriguing and page-turning alternate history look at the impact Orson Welles had on the world in his novel Orson Welles of Mars. Through usage of actual events, Boyle takes the reader on a fantastic ride through the life of one of the most influential men in Hollywood. Welles was both loved and hated by those around him, and Boyle captures the two-edged relationship well. Whether you know all there is to know about Welles, or if you've only ever heard about him in relation to The War of the Worlds or Citizen Kane, by the time you finish this novel, you will feel as if you knew Welles personally.
Boyle does a great job of capturing the voice and ego of Welles and bringing it to vivid life. The supporting cast of characters, both factual and fictional, help to formulate an opinion of Welles and his actions. The novel is also full of humor, imagination, and action that will keep you reading until you've finished the entire book. This novel is highly recommended for those who are interested in Orson Welles, for fans of sci-fi and/or alternate history, and for those who enjoy well-crafted stories that capture the imagination and fuel the "what if...?"
Orson Welles of Mars is slated for release in paperback and eBook formats on December 15, 2015. In the meantime, you can check out Boyle's other novel, The Devil Lives in Beverly Hills. It also features a look into the life of Welles as he attempts to thwart the destruction of all life at the hands of an ancient evil. While Devil is the first in a trilogy with Orson Welles of Mars being the second, each book stands on its own, and reading one is not absolutely necessary to enjoy the other.