by Andrew Diamond
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Pub Date 16 Jan 2024 | Archive Date 31 May 2024
Years of writing thoughtful, heartfelt literary fiction have brought Joe McElwee nothing but poverty and obscurity. Now his blockbuster formulaic thriller, full of mindless action and tired but proven tropes, has him on the verge of wealth and fame.
Not everyone is happy though. Joe’s friend Veronica, a staunch supporter of his honest early work, criticizes him for selling out. Frustrated at his refusal to hear her concerns, she puts a curse on him, forcing him to live as a character inside the novel of an author he despises, the bestselling hack Niall Turner, who is the undisputed king of the detective-thriller genre.
McElwee wakes up in nineteen-forties Los Angeles to discover he’s entered The Turnerverse, a world marked by two-dimensional characters, outdated stereotypes, gaping plot holes, and poor editing.
Worse yet, he’s apparently just committed a murder. In short order, he has to figure out who he is, who his friends and enemies are, and how he fits into a universe that doesn’t quite make sense. Along the way, he picks up a beautiful mistress, a femme fatale, an inept assassin, and a sinking sense of shame as he’s forced to inhabit the kind of shoddy writing he’s now producing.
“I brought you here,” Veronica tells him, “to rub your nose in the Turnerverse, so you can see what you’re becoming.”
Will it be enough to save an honest writer? Or will the lure of wealth and fame be too much for Joe McElwee?
The Sellout is truly one of the most unique books I have ever had the pleasure of reading and reviewing... intriguing, suspenseful, and action-packed, complete with an utterly unpredictable ending. -- The Feathered Quill
Diamond crafts an intriguing premise, cements it with the thriller and mystery components intrinsic to superior genre productions, and adds a sense of ironic, wry humor to Joe’s predicament. This sets his story apart from anything in the thriller or mystery genre. – D. Donovan, Sr. Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
A gripping thriller that delves into the dark side of success, identity, and the consequences of compromising one's artistic integrity... Diamond masterfully weaves a compelling narrative... The characters are vividly portrayed, adding layers to the narrative as they grapple with the consequences of their choices... A thought-provoking and entertaining read. -- Natalie Soine, Readers' Favorite
An entertaining part satire, part sleuth mystery yarn that pokes fun at mass market action thrillers with hilarious results... Joe is a multifaceted protagonist with inner turmoil over his choices and decisions, and it makes him such a fascinating character to follow. -- Pikasho Deka, Readers' Favorite
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 13 members
“I think an author who writes crappy novels should be punished by having to live inside the novel of an even crappier author”.
Joe McElwee has been living in penury for years as a writer of literary fiction.
He finally 'sells out' to write cliched potboilers, which earns him lots of money and fame. But not everyone is happy. One of the very few admirers of his early fiction curses him to live the life of a character in a crappy novel.
So begins the mystery on how McElwee solves the murder mystery in a formulaic novel, breaking the stereotypical norms set to appease the masses.
This is a very meta fiction which parodies all the known tropes in the detective thriller genre. The author throws startling insights into the art of writing. At times it became philosophical, but it was easy to identify with the character's angst.
I enjoyed the unusual theme and quirky writing style. The book is funny and imaginative.
I should thank Netgalley for introducing me to Andrew Diamond's books through the ARC of '32 Minutes'. I was impressed and went on to read his other books on Kindle. I have liked them all. "To Hell with Johnny Manic" is my favorite.
Once again thanks to Netgalley, the Publisher and Author for the ARC of 'The Sellout'. Highly recommended