Thursday, 19 January 2017

FAMOUS by Blake Crouch

4 out of 5 stars

On Amazon UK HERE
On Goodreads HERE

How I discovered this book:  The first book I read and reviewed by this author was Abandon, after reading a review for it on Between The Lines book blog.  I have since read and reviewed Run and Snowbound.  I happened to notice this one as a suggestion on my Kindle app, when I'd just finished my last book, and couldn't resist letting it queue-jump the to-read list ;)

This is a long novella length story (or perhaps a short novel, I didn't count the words!), and a fair bit different from others I've read by this author.  Although there are moderately horrific elements, it's essentially a darkly humorous contemporary tale, about a man called Lancelot Blue Dunquist who happens to be the exact double of famous Hollywood star James Jansen.  All his life he has had a plan, and one day circumstances conspire to make him put it into action.

I love the way Blake Crouch writes, and this story is great fun.  As with Run and Snowbound, though, I felt myself having to do the belief suspension thing just a little bit too often.  Lance's character is fairly fluid, changing to fit the plot; he's a 38 year old who has lived with his small town parents in South Carolina all his life, happens to be incredibly handsome, and moderately self-confident and intelligent, but has only ever slept with one girl, 18 years before, and has no social life.  At times he seems entertainingly naive, which is reasonable considering his lack of life experience, yet at other times displays a sharp insight that seems unlikely to have evolved, given his story-so-far.

I won't be giving out too much in the way of spoilers if I say that he pretends to be James Jansen, but where it became a bit too ludicrous even for belief-suspended-me was when people that Jansen knew well were taken in by the charade.  The end is great, a terrific twist in the tale, but, again, impossible - however much you look like someone, you can't fake medical records!  On the other hand, it's a smoothly written, never-a-dull-moment, entertaining romp, so maybe all these things don't matter too much; I enjoyed reading it and would recommend it.  Just :)

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