My review of Steve Hely’s debut novel How I Became a Famous Novelist, is up on The Philippine Online Chronicles, so go clicky, if you are so inclined. Be warned, though: Sasha is not a happy goat when it comes to this book. The review begins:
The narcissistic aspect of a debut novelist having his debut novel revolve around a debut novel is a debatable one; and narcissism itself could be over-intellectualizing what might just be lazy writing. At best, such books would be earnest, occasionally sentimental, reflections on the writing process. Mix it up a little and anchor the narrative with humor; in satire, theoretically, such books could be amusingly self-deprecating, self-aware in the very attempt. Attempt an amalgam of those aspects, and the risks are great, but the pay-off more so.
Fail, and it could be disastrous.
And I thought–violently felt–that this book failed. Oh well. A lot of people liked it. I thought I would. But, ya know. I didn’t. A friend of mine asked me if I was personally offended whenever a book didn’t meet my expectations. Well, yes, that. With Hely’s novel, well, I just really wish I’d bought something else. This was expensive, okay? I bought it months ago, while I was running amok in a bookstore, and that yellow just hypnotized me. Boo.