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Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Galley Proof by Eric Arvin *****

Galley ProofGalley Proof by Eric Arvin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another brilliant book by Eric Arvin that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Logan Brandish is a writer who lives in a safe world of order and routine. Safe is the kind word for it, it's actually damn boring, but until he meets his new editor Brock Kimble Logan doesn't realise this. Brock ignites passion in Logan - not just for life but for Brock himself, unfortunately that commitment is one that Brock is not yet ready to make. So Logan is left in an unsatisfactory state, he yearns for the excitement that Brock's very being promised, but all he knows is his ordered way of life. Suffering a severe case of writers 'what the fuck am I writing' he spontaneously books an open ended plane ticket and heads to Europe.

As ever Eric Arvin's characters are fabulous. I found myself able to really relate to many of them, particularly Logan (which is pretty good going seeing as I'm a straight female). Many of his actions and thought processes I could completely understand. He was such a good guy that I really wanted him to get his HEA.

There is a part of me, whenever I read about a character who is a writer, that wonders how much of the author is written into the character. I mean I think every character written has a bit of their author in them somewhere, they wouldn't have life (albeit one contained in the pages of a book) if they didn't, but when the character reflects the writer in career or hobby it always feels more personal, as if the author is offering just a little bit more of themselves this time. How true this is I don't know, but I certainly felt like this when I read this book.

Brock is great character, one I would have liked more of - though as a first person narrative this would have been very tricky to manage. Seemingly the life of the party, the one with the answers it isn't until further into the book that we find out that he has his own demons. Of course he does, don't we all?

Janey, Logan's best friend and house mate, is superb. She is funny and adds some light heartedness to Logan. The irony of her mission to get the Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons to stop at their house did have me chuckling. Everyone needs a Janey in their lives.

One character I felt so sorry for at the beginning was, Logan's then boyfriend, Curtis. Curtis was beige, everything about him was beige. He sold boxes for a living and enjoyed this and Logan was pretty much with him for convenience. I felt uncomfortable at the start when I read Curtis and how Logan thought of him, maybe because it easy to have a Curtis in your life, a safety rail against the world. I was glad when we met him again and realised the safe netting wasn't a one way thing, sometimes letting someone go is the kindest thing to do.

I loved Cassie's (a fellow American he met in Austria) advice about how to write good characters. She says 'Just fictionalise those you have met.....If you have a religious zealot in your neighbourhood, give her a leather fetish.' I'm sure Janey, with her Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses, would have agreed. My other favourite line was, 'I found myself thinking "fuck me" in a plurality of ways.' How brilliant is that? I never highlight parts of text, yet I seem to with Eric Arvin's books.

Once again I would totally recommend this book.

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