Popcorn Paperback – 5 May 1997
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|Paperback, 5 May 1997||
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- Paperback : 298 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0671855670
- ISBN-13 : 978-0671855673
- Dimensions : 17.7 x 1.9 x 11 cm
- Publisher : Pocket Books; New edition (5 May 1997)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: 2,194,747 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer reviews:
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The real problem I have with it are twofold:
1. The two plot lines are all a bit Pulp Fiction  meets Reservoir Dogs , but just the violent bits; there's none of the subtlety evident in the two movies. So much so, I started to think of Quentin Tarantino everytime we were in Bruce's (the fictional director) presence and as for our Natural Born Killers  (yes, the throw back to the movie plot is deliberate - especially as it is a Tarantino story) I found myself thinking of Tim Roth and Amanda Plummer (as opposed to Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis).
I can understand why there are similarities but it did feel as though the plot was lifted directly from these films.
2. The deliberate blurring of whether what we were being shown was real or fictional. Particularly towards the end of the book, there is deliberate blurring of whether this is all scripted and being acted out on a sound stage or if it is really happening. Unfortunately, it is clumsily executed so rather than being a deft tool it turns in to using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.
The facile nature of fame is well executed in the tale though and I did enjoy that. Whether it is the red carpet phonys before and after the Oscar ceremony or the breathless media reporting of yet another atrocity. Unfortunately, it never manages to open the dialogue that it intends to (as all Mr Elton's novels are intended to) as it just owes too much to what has gone so recently before and his influences are definitely showing in this one. Maybe it would have been more impactful had I read it closer to release time when the media was full of scare stories but somehow I doubt it.
Despite the subject matter it is a jolly enough read - if you don't mind blood, guts and gore aplenty. There are some reasonable character studies within the pages - especially Bruce and the downtrodden sidekick. Ultimately though it falls very short of the mark.
By comparison to 'High Society' (which I thoroughly enjoyed), I found 'Popcorn' one-dimensional and rather dull. I didn't empathise or sympathise with any of the characters and just couldn't care what happened to them.
The two poor 'white trash' villains were imbued with intellect and debating skills way beyond what might be reasonably expected of them, which detracted from the book's overall credibility.
It lacked the dark humour, plot twists, sustained interest and compassion for many of the characters which made High Society such a compelling read.
'Popcorn' might have made an interesting short story, but to me it seems (over)stretched at a 300+ page novel.
The whole film/copycat debate is much covered. Equally relevant, and increasingly so, is the role of news media. Very prescient stuff as the News Editor revels in 'being' the news 'while the old forces of authority - the cops and the politicians- could only watch impotently from the sidelines'.