Cover Image: Last Resort

Last Resort

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley.

2.5* rounded up. The premise of this story was good (although similar to 'The Plot', which I much preferred) and the beginning was promising. However, it gradually became clear that Caleb was an extremely annoying, entirely self-absorbed narcissist, and we spent the whole novel in his head, so by the end I was glad it was over. I enjoyed the moment when Caleb's machinations backfire on him spectacularly, but it was surrounded by long stretches of boring pondering by Caleb about what would make him happy. Sandra had no discernible personality, and the ending was plain weird.
Was this review helpful?
I ate this up! If you love literary drama you will love this - all about authenticity, plagiarism, and the consequences authorial choices. A romp with an excellent ending!
Was this review helpful?
As other reviewers has pointed out, this novel is similar in theme and plot to last year’s The Plot. Which feels similar to other stories and movies. So, nothing particularly new here. But a solid telling, but one that suffers from being published near, but following another popular novel.
Was this review helpful?
This will remind you of the more sophisticated The Plot but it's enough different that I kept reading,  Is is plagiarism if an auth9r uses a story told by someone else as the basis for a novel?  That's the problem Caleb is facing when Avi, whose tale about a foursome is key to Caleb's big manuscript, finds out that he's been appropriated,  An amazing deal ensues in which Caleb signs away his name in order to keep the large advance.  And then things get weirder.  Neither of these two are appealing or sympathetic.  Thanks to netgalley for the ARC.  A bit far fetched.
Was this review helpful?
Why is plagiarism a hot topic this year?  Again the reader is taken into a story about plagiarism that has to remind us of the recent novel, THE PLOT. I’m not sure this novel fared well by comparison. I found it hard to get involved with the characters. Perhaps I felt there was a level of predictability which disturbed me. 

Thank you Netgalley for this ARC in return for my review.
Was this review helpful?
The idea of a work of fiction being actually based on someone is nothing new-but the ramifications for Caleb Horowitz are something he never anticipated.  I found the book difficult to get in to but well worth sticking to.
Was this review helpful?
This is a story about identity and ownership.  Caleb Horowitz is a struggling author, hoping to write the next great novel.  On a road trip, he looks up a former acquaintance from college, Avi Dietsch.  He and Avi were not exactly friends, but knew each other well in the way of people who travel in the same circles in college.  Avi offers to host Caleb for a night.  Over drinks, Avi shares a shocking story of what happened to him on his recent vacation.  

After the two part ways, Avi sends Caleb a short write-up of his story, seemingly the (very rough) beginning of a novel.  Caleb cannot get the story out of his mind, and he uses it as the basis of his own novel.  His manuscript catches the attention of a top literary agent.  Caleb is excited for the agent to shop the book around to publishers and hopefully secure his dream of a book deal, with one exception -- the publishing house where Avi now works.  Despite Caleb's best efforts, Avi gets his hands on the manuscript and believes that Caleb has stolen his story.  He confronts Caleb, forcing Caleb into an agreement that will come to define, and then test, his life.

This book was terrific.  It offers interesting perspectives on ownership of ideas, ambition, and, most of all, the nature of success -- what constitutes success and to what degree does success require the acknowledgment of others.  Through Caleb, we see how the search for success shapes all aspects of his life, including his closest relationships, even if its meaning often seems elusive even to him.  Novels about novel writing can be difficult to pull off, but this one more than succeeds — offering a sharp-eyed and revealing look into the life of authors, the creative process, and the business of publishing.   

Strongly recommended!
Was this review helpful?
This is an interesting and thought-provoking novel.  Caleb is a struggling writer who finally has a manuscript that attracts the attention of a top literary agent.  As the agent shops the novel to top book publishers, it falls into the hands of Caleb's former college classmate, Avi, who believes that Caleb's book steals Avi's own story -- and that Avi should share in the novel's success.  In the face of Avi's threats, Caleb is forced into a bargain unlike any he would have ever contemplated -- and one that will exert an influence over this life beyond what he could have ever expected.

This was a highly original concept for a novel.  It was an interesting way to explore the nature of authenticity, creativity, and an author's relationship with audience.

Highly recommended!
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to Netgalley and FSG for the ebook. Caleb Horowitz is a young man desperate to become a published novelist. He leaves NYC to travel the country to write and look for some kind of inspiration. In Los Angeles he spends one night with Avi Dietsch, a marginal friend from college. Avi ends up telling him a fascinating story about his recent vacation he spent in Greece, involving an affair and tragedy. Celeb, without telling Avi, takes that true story and turns it into a novel that catches the attention of a famous book agent and sparks a bidding war. It looks like Celeb is going to get everything he’s every wanted, until Avi comes back into his life and demands justice for having his story stolen from him.
Was this review helpful?
This is the second book I have read recently that involves plagiarism. Caleb is 27 and rootless. He has saved enough money to bum around the country and write a novel. Except he isn't inspired until he stays the night with an old college acquaintance, Avi. I say acquaintance, as it is obvious that they are not friends. Both are priviliged white men but Avi wears it easier and Caleb is seethingly jealous of him. Caleb surprises both men when he is accidentally genuine and that leads Avi to tell him a story: an emotional interlude in an otherwise boring life.
It doesn't take long before Caleb has used the story as the basis of a novel. The novel is good enough to get Caleb a powerful agent and draw the attention of Avi. 
What follows is different to the usual plagiarism plot. Caleb gains a lot and loses something that he cannot live with. It leads to a pattern of behaviour that can best be described as destructive, spoilt and fascinating to watch. I must confess to being slightly confused by the ending. It's a bit oblique and I would have liked more clarity as to whether Caleb was snatching defeat from the jaws of victory again.
Was this review helpful?