Saturday, 13 October 2012

The Scottish Movie by Paul Collis

The Scottish MovieThis book is a study of life imitating art. Writer Harry Greenville pens a novel considering why Macbeth gained its reputation as an unlucky play. The story suggests that Shakespeare stole the idea from another writer, passing it off as his own, and that the creator of the tale inserts himself into the production getting his revenge on Shakespeare by wreaking havoc. Harry posts the first draft online hoping it will be discovered and will get him work. Instead a second rate Hollywood has-been hears Harry's concept and purloins it. When Harry discovers his story is being turned into a blockbuster film he decides he has to follow the path of the lead man in his own novel.

This book starts out with an excerpt of Harry's novel, based in London in 1606. This sets up the plot really well and suited the side of me that loves historical fiction. It then moves on to current day LA and sees Harry fall victim to the same scam. I shared Harry's girlfriend's concerns about how far he would take his revenge and was hoping to see him discover a legal redress rather than relying on slightly dubious means of disrupting filming. What unfolds is a clever cocktail of juvenile pranks and well-orchestrated sabotage.

Harry and his friends and allies represent the little people with big hopes, likeable and determined to right and wrong, while those complicit in using his idea for personal gain were suitably sleazy and disreputable. The way Harry pursues his campaign against the wrongdoers made for a really good, at times amusing read. It was a good easy read, largely driven by the clever plot with some interesting insights into the film business, and the ending certainly wasn't what I was expecting. Another good showing by Paul Collis!

Format: Kindle, review copy
My Rating: 4*


David M. Brown said...

Sounds like a really good read. Thanks for a great review :)

When I think of Macbeth I think of an episode of British comedy where it is referred to as the Scottish play and two actors have to sing a ridiculous every time someone says Macbeth.

TC said...

Thanks David. I think I vaguely recall the sketch you mean but am darned if I can remember which programme it was.