“How I Became a Famous Novelist”

August 5, 2009 at 11:53 am | Posted in Fiction | 2 Comments

This book is really something.  Steve Hely manages to skewer every aspect of the literary world, and How I Became a Famous Novelist has the potential to offend writers, editors, publishers, bookstores, critics, bloggers, and fans.  It’s fabulous.

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Hely’s ability to mimic various literary styles is uncanny.  He has a mock bestseller list that had me cracking up.  It’s quite wicked.  But it’s a satire with a heart, and I have to say I approved of the ending.

How I Became a Famous Novelist is a really fast read.  You won’t regret it, even as you wince when you inevitably recognize yourself in its pages.


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  1. The question is, is there a purpose to these insults? If Hely only offends in order to offend without recognizing sincere problems and attempting to tackle them (even with his tongue firmly planted in his cheek), it seems rather pointless, no?

    • I thought it was intended to inspire the literary world as a whole to take itself less seriously. The message was that books can lift us up like nothing else, when they’re done well, but that perhaps this can be done with a bit less pomp and circumstance.

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