About The Author

About the only good thing so far to have come out of what has been a year-long struggle to get a new website built is a book recommendation.

Specifically About The Author by John Colapinto, a book which came with the recommendation that “everyone I have told about it has loved it and everyone they have told has loved it”.

So I'm not going to be the one to spoil the boast. In fact, it only took a couple of pages before I announced that I thought I was going to enjoy it – and I wasn't disappointed.

It is essentially a thriller about a man (Cal) who works as a lowly bookstore clerk while he pursues his dream of becoming a writer – except he doesn't pursue the dream at all because he never manages to commit a single word to paper.

Instead, he spends his evenings "gathering material" for his book in the shape of countless one-night stands with women he meets in the bars of New York.

His roommate (Stewart), by contrast, is a hard-working law student with no obvious artistic sensibilities, who spends his evenings in his room tapping away on his keyboard, emerging only to go to college or to be regaled with stories of Cal's conquests.

Imagine then how Cal feels when one day he discovers that not only has Stewart been writing a novel all this time but that the novel is brilliant, better (he at least has the ability to realise) than anything he could produce. And that it is actually about him, his childhood, his literary pretensions, his sexual exploits…

So what does he do when Stewart is knocked off his bike on the way to class and killed? After all, the story is in so many ways his, everyone knows he is writing a book and, as far as he knows, no-one knows Stewart had any literary ambitions…

I won't spoil it for you by telling you any more of the plot because, although the book is touted also as a satire on the world of publishing, it is fundamentally just a good story, well written.

And, although the second half of the book sometimes gets a bit ridiculous, by that stage you are so engrossed that you need to read to the end to find out what happens.