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Telling it like it is

For novels about writing, look no further than Michael Chabon’s very wonderful Wonder Boys. If you stick to the film – it has Robert Downey Jr in it, how can you go wrong? – you will miss Dr Gaskell’s gem-like observations, the following being an example:

“I waved to a couple of my offended colleagues and nodded carefully to Franconia Epps, a well-to-do Fox Chapel woman of a certain age who has been attending WordFest for the last six years in the hope of finding a publisher for a novel called Black Flowers, which every year she raveled and unraveled, Penelope-like, according to the contradictory whims of a dozen half-interested editors, but which in each incarnation managed to retain its surprising although not, unfortunately, redeeming number of scenes involving well-to-do Fox Chapel women of a certain age and a variety of leather appliances, artificial male genitalia, and tractable polo ponies with names like Goliath and Big Jacques.” 

Unlike other authors dedicated to long sentences, Chabon’s are neither pompous nor involved, so I don’t lose interest half way through or get to the end and forget where I began.