"I think he was the best. Is. Was. Is the best of the young guys. I'm not just saying that now - I said that before he died. He had something I don't understand". (Brad Pitt). For a moment in the early 1990s, it felt like the future of American culture was up for grabs. Bill Clinton, just 47 years old when he moved into the White House, represented a new generation. In music, Nirvana was selling millions of copies of Nevermind, blowing out the nation's eardrums in a way not heard since 70s punk rock. In the world of movies, indie film was busting out of art house theaters and into mall multiplexes. A new generation of leading men was on the rise, many of them with boyish features and bohemian attitudes: Johnny Depp, Keanu Reeves, Brad Pitt, Christian Slater, Robert Downey Jr., Nicolas Cage, and Leonardo DiCaprio. Of all of them, perhaps the one with the brightest future was River Phoenix. Raised in Venezuela under the aegis of the cultish Children of God, 18-year-old River Phoenix took Hollywood by storm when he starred in Stand By Me, and soon won an Oscar nomination for Running on Empty. Praised by his peers as the most talented actor of his generation, River came of age in the spotlight - a teen idol on the fast-track to Hollywood royalty. Yet, on October 31, 1993, at the age of 23, River Phoenix died of a drug overdose in front of West Hollywood's storied club, the Viper Room, a tragic ending to a brilliant life, and career, the world had only just begun to grasp. Acclaimed author and journalist Gavin Edward tells the story of the night River Phoenix died and explores the world he lived in, his life, and lasting legacy.