On a lazy summer morning, ageing author Vincent Duncan takes an unsettling phone call from his literary agent. Peter Temple indulges his humorous side in this scathingly brilliant portrayal of a writer past his peak.
Crisis time in the library, my reading mojo has upped and vanished, so in an effort to speed things up and get things moving, I got this 21 page short from Amazon.
Temple is an author I’ve enjoyed in my pre-blogging days, though like most on my shelves there’s more from him unread than read. (The Broken Shore is highly recommended though.)
We have a disgruntled author waiting on news from his agent regarding his latest work. Our man in question is living on past glories and his star is waning, though naturally he is oblivious to this. His agent and not without a small amount of satisfaction soon enlightens him as to his current situation. A none too pleasant parting of the waves occurs.
In the background, our author’s work situation with his university contract close to expiration is somewhat fraught, though again his grasp on the seriousness of the situation is limited. Similarly our relationship with our Bohemian artist partner is somewhat strained. For an arty type she does like spending on the good things in life, as well as getting down and dirty with her latest young model. Financial meltdown is imminent.
However salvation beckons, rumour has it that our unpublished but much touted manuscript has scooped a major Canadian prize accompanied by a big fat cheque.
Hope springs eternal………sod the job, ditch the bitch and its blue skies all the way……. or not.
4.5 from 5
Great story, I doubt Temple’s poking fun at himself though undoubtedly he may have encountered a few writerly types whose persona may fill our main character’s shoes. Hilarious with a sting in the tale.
Sad to say whilst this temporarily lifted the October reading gloom, it was a short-lived revival. (4 days in the month left at time of writing and only 5 books/stories read. Time to check out the stacks for some more 20-page gems!)
Bought on Amazon this month for less than a pound.