This novel had an interesting plot and for a long while I stayed with it because it had some level of interest for me, but in the end it was so improbably wish-fulfilling that I couldn't take it seriously. It's honestly far more like a fantasy than a novel rooted in realism. Plus the main characters really were not very savory - not to my taste, and particularly not Gordon, the main male character. I can't for the life of me figure out how a romance ever happened between the main female character Jane, a literary agent, and him.
It took me a while to figure out that these characters were all in their mid- to late-thirties. The first indication of age, misleading as it was, was that Jane's favorite movie as a teenager was Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I was forced to assume from this that Jane was in her seventies since that movie was released in 1961, or perhaps that she'd seen it on TV or video at a later time when she wa sin her teens, and evidently had no problem with the racism in it, but eventually the author clarified that she was only half seventy! Give or take. She actually might have been a lot more interesting had she been in her seventies.
The story starts with Gordon and is told in present tense which really doesn't work very well, but I got used to it. Gordon is a pompous jackass who wants his massive tome of pretension to be published, but is rightly getting nowhere with it. In a series of events which make zero sense, and which have no rhyme or reason, he ends up writing a romance novel about a sassy woman who is based on a young girl he knew when he was in his teens, and who died. This girl haunts him - he sees her around him all the time, now apparently grown up, commenting on his life.
Without any sort of effort or promotion, the novel becomes a runaway best-seller after he self-publishes it. That's of course when Big Publishing™ comes knocking on his door. I mean, why would they care about someone they couldn't immediately milk for a fortune? Or at least they would come knocking if they knew who he was, since he published under a pseudonym. Jane, who already had two jerks in her life - her asshole of a boss and her douche of a fiancé, figures out who he is and tracks him down, seeing this as the path to her own corner office.
Gordon denies all authorship and talks his sister into pretending to be the author all along, although Jane suspects it's really Gordon. So they immediately get eight million for the book rights and a fat movie contract. All in the space of a few days! Ri-ight! The most amusing part of the book was the completely shallow movie star who hasn't even read the book, and the complete jerk of a movie director who has read it but wants to make his own version of it. I kept wanting someone to tell him to go fuck himself, but no one ever did.
Then the story went right down the shitter. As soon as it's revealed that Gordon is the author, somehow all of this movie stuff is off! Just like that! Why? How? What the fuck difference does it make who the author is if a contract has been signed and the book is real? The novel made zero sense at this point because it then has the movie rights magically revert to Gordon, who marries Jane and they get a new movie contract and a better star. No lawsuits are involved! I'm sorry but no!
This might have been a decent novel had it been more realistic and had Gordon any redeeming features at all, but he was a lousy drunk, completely unlike anyone Jane would want anything to do with, because let's face it, she really needed yet another dick make in her life. For me that's when I gave up on it despite being so close to the end. I can't commend it because it's far too amateurish to commend even though it did have a few entertaining bits here and there.