9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Flawed character brilliantly conceived,
This review is from: About the Author: A Novel (Paperback)
The cover blurbs and book reviews position Colapinto's first novel as a suspense thriller, but I hate to see it tossed into such an overcrowded, underachieving genre. Likewise, I think the critical comparisons to Hitchcock are only valid insofar as Colapinto's careful attention to character development make the protagonist's increasingly outrageous behavior believable. My primary impression of this book, in fact, is that it is a character study, more akin to books like "A Confederacy of Dunces," "Illywhacker," and "Tomcat In Love" than it would be to an Elmore Leonard or James Patterson "suspense thriller." And what a character Cal Cunningham is! At turns pathetic, sympathetic, despicable and delusional, I thoroughly enjoyed (and related to) his callous rationalization process as he basically steals another writer's work and muse -- and not just any other writer, but his dead roommate! When a woman from his past shows up with proof that he is not the author of the book that has propelled him to literary fame, and subsequently threatens to ruin him, his paranoia goes supernova, and in my opinion that is when this book really hits full stride. Although I thought that things concluded a little too tidily, the story is generally so cynical and the character so depraved that to me it was a comparatively small blemish on an otherwise brilliant book. I'm recommending it to everyone.