In his blazing debut novel, Andrew Lipstein blurs the lines of fact and fiction with a thrilling story of fame, fortune, and impossible choices.
Caleb Horowitz is twenty-seven, and his wildest dreams are about to come true. His manuscript has caught the attention of the agent, who offers him money, acclaim, and a taste of the literary life. He can’t wait for his book to be shopped to every editor in New York, except one: Avi Deitsch, an old college rival and the novel’s “inspiration.” When Avi gets his hands on it, he sees nothing but theft—and opportunity. Caleb is forced to make a Faustian bargain, one that tests his theories of success, ambition, and the limits of art.
Last Resort is the razor-edged account of a young man’s reckless journey into authenticity. As Caleb fights to right his mistakes and reclaim his name, he must burn every bridge, confront his deepest desires, and finally see his work from the perspectives of characters he’d imagined were his own.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 10 members
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.
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.