Last evening I went to see 'Closer' with Julia Roberts, Jude Law and two other stars I have forgotten the names of. It was a waste of time and money (only $6 on a cheap movie night). Julia Roberts is a joy to behold as usual, but the storyline is silly and shallow. I know what it all means - about couples, sex, loyalty, trust, etc. But don't we all know that already? If you're over about 22 years you've probably enjoyed and suffered all the manifestations of relationships so pointedly displayed in this film. There is little to no subtlety. It is certainly a well-constructed piece of entertainment, and if you're a Bold & Beautiful fan, it is probably up your street. I'm not being snobbish: it's just I want more than entertainment out of a movie.
Whereas, I'm just in the last stages of the novel 'My Life as a Fake' by Peter Carey. I'm a fan, I'll admit, but this book is different. It is highly structured and each chapter is consciously written to begin and end as a snap reading you could manage in bed before putting the light out. Even though it is famously inspired by the Ern Malley affair (Australian poetry hoax perpetrated on Max Harris and his mag Angry Penguins by James Macauley and Douglas Stewart), the book takes off from this historic incident and creates its own exotic tale. Very very readable and highly entertaining, whilst being written superbly. As John Updike says about it, 'Confidently brilliant.' Phew, wouldn't you love someone of his position in world lit to say the same about your next novel?