11 Jan 2011
Review: "The Book, the Film, the T-shirt" - The laugh
Do you have bookish guilty pleasures? I sure do, I mean I have quite a few guilty pleasures such as some of the rather less-impressive paranormal romances out there and the odd chic lit, however, my favourite guilty pleasure is "The Book, the Film, the T-shirt" by Matt Beaumont. I have read this book sooooo many times and a couple of days ago I started reading it again because I needed to read something fun and light as a cure for a nasty flu - and I knew that this one would do the trick.
What immediately hits you when you read this book is that it has several narrators, some of them only appear a couple of times, some of them appear all the time throughout the book. The action is set in the London advertisting agency Fuller Scheidt - one of those hip, happening places full of personalities and full of something else as well (try pronouncing the name a couple of times...). The creative director - the cheating, rather lazy Greg Fuller - is supervising the making of a tyre commercial with two of Hollywood's young stars, the action man Joe Shirer and his ex-girlfriend busty blonde Rebecca Richards. To help him make this commercial happen he has his loyal and clever secretary Nancy, the Liz Hurley-lookalike producer/mistress named Toddy, his exasperated, pregnant wife Carrie and a teenage runner who provides a fresh pair of eyes on a sordid industry.
Add to this the two personal assistants to the stars, a hairdresser, a smalltime drug dealer and marketing executive with no feeling for situation at all and you have the voices that tell the story of how everything that could possible go wrong in a commercial shoot went wrong.
The plot escalates from bad to worse and the situations that these people put themselves into and their reflections on them will have you in stitches. It is really really hilarious.
One of the things that I really think work in this book is the fact that these seem like real people, they all have lots and lots of faults. They also all have distinct voices which means that it is easy to spring from one person's point-of-view to another without getting lost. I think that speaks volumes about the strength of the author that he manages such a large cast without losing the narrator's individuality and I very much admire Mr. Beaumont for that.