In this Book
Considered by some to be Budd Schulberg’s masterpiece, The Disenchanted tells the tragic story of Manley Halliday, a fabulously successful writer during the 1920s—a golden figure in a golden age—who by the late 1930s is forgotten by the literary establishment, living in Hollywood and writing for the film industry. Halliday is hired to work on a screenplay with a young writer in his twenties named Shep, who is desperate for success and idolizes Halliday. The two are sent to New York City, where a few drinks on the plane begin an epic disintegration on the part of Halliday due to the forces of alcoholism he is heroically fighting against and the powerful draw of memory and happier times. Based in part on a real-life and ill-fated writing assignment between the author and F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1939, Schulberg’s novel is at its heart a masterful depiction of Manley Halliday—at times bitter, at others sympathetic and utterly sorrowful—and The Disenchanted stands as one of the most compelling and emotional evocations of generational disillusionment and fallen American stardom.