This is such a very difficult book to review, as to give away too much of the plot, or say too much about the characters would ruin the reading experience of those yet to read it.
Each chapter starts with a quote from a famous author about the art of writing, the art of creating fiction or just lying. “The truth is beautiful. Without doubt; and so are lies.” is the first one. In the first section of the book: “What was lost”, our unnamed narrator starts telling us about his childhood, waiting in Terminal B of an unnamed airport for his flight attendant mother to come back from wherever she’d gone to next. We’re told how the twenty-two page adventure story he wrote (with illustrations) was lost when the man who ran the watch repair suddenly collapsed, and the book was thrown away. He tells us about going to a debutante ball because the brother of the girl he fancied was injured on a golf course shortly before, about going to college and starting to write in earnest, striking up a friendship and life long rivalry with the mysterious and charismatic Julian. At college he also meets the glamorous Evelyn, a promising actress, who may or may not be the love of his life.
I loved this book, unreservedly. It has the most unreliable narrator, EVER, but it is just pure magic.
This is kind of a hard book to summarize, but here goes! We first meet the narrator (who goes by several names over the course of the book) as a young boy in an airport terminal, waiting for his flight attendant mother. We then shift to him as a teenager, where he’s a poor kid in a town full of rich snobs and is hopelessly in love with of them. Next, we find him at college, where he’s a writing student, and where his friendship with Julian, a flamboyant and incredible talented rival writer, and Evelyn, the beautiful actress, begins. It’s these two relationships that are at the center of the novel, although they’re later hidden under the veil of a novel-within-a-novel (and yet another novel within this one). This is a book about writing, more than anything–the process, the act, the emotional journey.
Read the rest of my review here!
I probably wouldn’t have noticed this novel on my own if there hadn’t been a certain amount of hype, all generated by one person, on both Facebook and Pajiba. I’m sure I would have picked it up once it started making “Best of Lists” but the title and the description one their own would not have been enough to capture my attention.
Read more here. It’s actually rather short … maybe you should just read the novel instead.