William Brandt,
The Book of the Film
of the Story of My Life

(Warner Books, 2002)

Frederick Case is 42 years old and a struggling film producer. His doctor wants him to start taking blood pressure medicine, and his actress wife has recently left him for the co-star of her last movie. All in all, things aren't going so well.

Then two things happen: he learns that his estranged wife Sophie is pregnant and he receives an invitation to an exclusive South Pacific island for a friend's posh birthday celebration. Positive that Sophie's child must be his, Frederick decides to go to the party, especially since Sophie is sure to be there. Determined not to look pathetic in front of Sophie and her new man, Frederick hires a young hooker named Melissa to pose as his girlfriend. Before he even reaches the island, his life begins to change.

The novel's first-person present tense takes a little getting used to, but the reader should get the hang of it well before the end of the first chapter. Interspersed script bits only serve to illustrate how bound up with movies Frederick's life truly is -- his friends are movie people, his wife is an actress, even Melissa the hooker has aspirations of becoming a porn star.

By turns sad, funny and poignant, The Book of the Film of the Story of My Life is the surprisingly sweet story of a man who finds that his place in the world isn't necessarily where he thought it was and that there are always second chances. If guys had chick-lit, this would be it.

by Laurie Thayer
1 April 2006

Buy it from Amazon.com.