Pop Culture: Last Night at the Viper Room: River Phoenix and the Hollywood He Left Behind by Gavin Edwards


In Last Night at the Viper Room, author and journalist Gavin Edwards tells the story of the life and tragic death of actor River Phoenix—a teen idol who died of a drug overdose at the age of 23 in front of a Hollywood club owned by Johnny Depp called the Viper Room.

Through in-depth research, the author provides a minute-by-minute account of the night Phoenix died and explores the world the young actor lived in, painting a vivid picture of a talented and dedicated yet troubled young man. This biography turned cultural analysis also explores the somewhat controversial aspects of Phoenix’s upbringing, including his childhood in Venezuela growing up under the cultish Children of God, and traces the Academy Award nominee’s rise in the context of an examination of the popular culture of the 1990s.

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Back Cover Copy of Last Night At The Viper Room:

In Last Night at the Viper Room, acclaimed author and journalist Gavin Edwards vividly recounts the life and tragic death of acclaimed actor River Phoenix—a teen idol on the fast track to Hollywood royalty who died of a drug overdose in front of West Hollywood’s storied club, the Viper Room, at the age of 23.

Last Night at the Viper Room explores the young star’s life, including his childhood in Venezuela growing up under the aegis of the cultish Children of God. Putting him at the center of a new generation of leading men emerging in the early 1990s— including Johnny Depp, Keanu Reeves, Brad Pitt, Nicolas Cage, and Leonardo DiCaprio—Gavin Edwards traces the Academy Award nominee’s meteoric rise, couches him in an examination of the 1990s, and illuminates his lasting legacy on Hollywood and popular culture itself.

About Gavin Edwards:

Gavin Edwards is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone who has written five articles for the magazine about Blink-182 for the magazine since 1999. He is the New York Times bestselling author of seven books. He lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his wife and their two sons.

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