John Colapinto's About the Author
is a wicked thriller set in the ferocious world of publishing and a burning satire on what it takes to make a bestseller. Narrator, wannabe writer and stockboy Cal Cunningham has written nothing since he arrived in New York but he has relentlessly regaled his reclusive flatmate with his sexual conquests. When he discovers his roommate's finished manuscript,
a virtual transcription of the monologues with which [he] had entertained Stewart during the two and a half years of [their] roommatehood. It was all there. All of it. Not just the "Dispatches from Downtown" with their ribald tales of romantic conquest and alcohol abuse, but the truly precious stuff, the irreplaceable personal lode of [his] childhood memories, with all their pain and yearning and loss,
he justifies his subsequent plagiarism. By the end of Colapinto's novel, we are left with a dead flatmate, a half-murdered blackmailer, a deceased phoney cop, a drug deal on the Canadian border and a lot of close calls--all for the sake of Art.
About the Author starts off promisingly with its mellifluous, loquacious first-person narrative and its challenging moral premise, making this a real page-turner. Unfortunately, it loses steam halfway through as our narrator/anti-hero moves from the potentially explosive possibilities of New York City to the safe little hamlet of New Halcyon and the perfect life with the even more perfect wife. What could have been an inflammatory satire on the fiery world of publishing (Cal's agent Blackie Yaeger is a wonderfully drawn caricature but, disappointingly, never developed to his full Faustian potential) abruptly loses its sizzle. Nonetheless, it's worth reading Colapinto's assured first foray into Fiction, as he's sure to be a talent you'll hear from again, especially with the film rights to his novel already sold. An interesting case of life imitating art perhaps!
Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone Journalist Colapinto's first book was the bestselling non-fiction title As Nature Made Him. --Nicola Perry
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
‘A Perfect novel…not only a devastatingly witty satire on American literary life but also a thriller of which Patricia Highsmith would have been proud.’ The Sunday Times
‘Blackly comic thriller and a sly, spot-on satire of Bookbiz hoopla.’ The Times
‘A thriller worthy of Hitchcock at his best. I wasn’t able to put it down. Splendid suspense.’ Stephen King
‘Gleaming, well written and exciting.’ Financial Times
‘It is enormously, compulsively readable…the book is difficult to stop reading.’ Spectator
‘Masterly’ Daily Mail
‘It will satisfy readers who want to know what’s new in literary fiction as well as those seeking the comforts of a well-told reader.’ Guardian