Fiction – paperback; Fourth Estate; 254 pages; 2002.
John Colapinto’s About the Author is a rollicking good fun, spoof novel about writing a novel. But it’s also a deeper exploration of morality, ethics and the trappings of fame. I loved it and couldn’t put it down.
It tells the story of Cal Cunningham, a lowly bookstore clerk, who regards himself as a writer, although he never actually gets around to putting pen to paper. Little does he know that Stuart, his nerdy and unsociable flatmate, who locks himself away in his room under the pretence of studying, is, in fact, doing just that. When his manuscript is discovered after Stuart’s untimely death, Cal hits upon a fantastic, but truly deceitful idea — to pass the manuscript off as his own.
What follows is sometimes predictable but never boring. Cal, richer and more successful than his wildest dreams, slowly comes to realise that such trappings have come at a cost.
Darkly comic, this is a great plot-driven novel, which is an easy and enjoyable read.