Sorkin writes incredibly earnest material for his actors to blather on about. Lots of it, long-winded and heavy on big words. He jams the script with dialogue that can only come out of an actor’s mouth, long speeches, heartfelt crusade-like hyperbole that sounds as if it were written for the actors, just for them. No one talks like that. No one.
This second iteration of The News from Spain is an indie bookstore lover’s story. Have you ever worked in a bookstore and had a customer try to pick you up? Have you ever, throwing caution and your job to the winds, tried to pick a customer up? As Rebecca discovers, your friends could have seen this coming.
At the heart of this wonderfully cosmic and flawless novel is a love story, or two and this reporter in training armature is just that, something to hang it all on. What separate’s Gadfly from becoming a run of the mill coming of age in the time of boarding school novel, is the fractured narrative-time-space-continuum story lines that zip forward and back with great ease.
I am also a big fan of spying. Listening to other people talk and then writing it down. I often sit in diners and coffee shops and transcribe what I’m hearing and work it into a piece of fiction. Who will know? Nobody, that’s who.
Harper Perennial has risen to the very top of my list of great publishers. They do it right, from publishing writers in trade paper and making it work, (Matt Norman, Domestic Violets – Elizabeth Crane and We Only Know So Much) while bringing some kick ass fiction into a world filled with distractions.
The News from Spain by Joan Wickersham consists of seven associated stories which are all called “The News from Spain”.There’s an opening quote from Robert Calasso’s The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony…in diverging stories, all others are reflected. And there’s a wonderful conditional conversation that closes the first story, where Wickersham outlines a whole dialogue, laden with significance, that might have took place but didn’t.