Thursday, February 10, 2005

The Cutting Room -- Laurence Klavan

I mentioned a while back that I'd checked Laurence Klavan's The Cutting Room out of the library. I finally got around to reading it, and it wasn't bad. It involves “trivial people.” That is, people who devote their lives to trivia, in this case, movie trivia. You may recognize some of the characteristics of the trivial people. Roy Milano, the narrator, for example, resorts to reciting movie trivia to himself (or even aloud) in moments of stress, of which he has many, considering all the dead bodies he discovers in the course of the narrative. Roy considers himself a bit different from other trivial people because he was once married, which, as he puts it, means that for a brief period, “I had sex with someone other than myself.” (Let me say right here that I identified with plenty of the characteristics of the trivial people.) The McGuffin in the tale is the lost “director’s cut” of The Magnificent Ambersons, and there are plenty of interesting characters, some of them intended to remind you of movie stars and others that you’ve heard of. There's lots of trivia and some laughs, but you'll probably figure out who done it before Roy does. But then he's an amateur. This book is not for people who like to see the guilty punished, by the way. Some are, but some aren't. I thought the climax was a bit of a cliche, but I still plan to read the sequel.

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