Sonny Dollar is an aging failed musician who sings at small events across the US. However, he decides to go back to New York and fight for the custody of his teenage daughter as soon as he finds out that his alcoholic ex-wife is planning to move with her to France.
On his way to the city, Sonny meets his best friend from school, the brash Jay Diamond, who offers him the job of his life: to judge a talent contest for a small TV station.
As soon as he arrives in New York, Sonny tries to achieve what he never succeeded in doing before: to become a perfect father and, at the same time, a reality show celebrity.
Being underpaid at the beginning and in need of money to pay his manipulative lawyer, Sonny works part-time in a successful textile factory, owned by a sexually predatory socialite, and shares an apartment with cynical Dee Dee Winters - a young call girl who`s trying to become a singer.
Dee Dee has planned to quit working for her controlling madam and to change every aspect of her life. Her first decision is to get rid of her long term boyfriend, who loves her and has followed her to New York, and to focus on her performance in the reality show judged by Sonny.
As time passes, Sonny`s show will gain more and more audience and both characters will see their dreams almost fulfilled. But at what price?
Although shorter than a novel, Dream Factory offers enough room for a variety of classic themes to refashion themselves in order to fit with the present-day sensibilities of American society. Relationships and affection are constantly suppressed by a destructive fame fever, the notion of family has lost its original meaning and the sense of alienation brought about by the big city, with all its vanities and egos, quietly reshapes everybody`s destiny.
At its core, Dream Factory is a satire of Hollywood society, wrapped in the tinsel of reality entertainment.