Joshua Finnell's Reviews > Director's Cut

Director's Cut by Arthur Japin
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Oct 18, 2009

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bookshelves: fiction, library-journal-review

Library Journal Review:

This is a novel of young love, but it is also an engaging philosophical treatise on the power of imagination. Similar to Japin's last two novels (The Two Hearts of Kwasi Boachi and In Lucia's Eyes), this is a work of historical fiction. Incorporating elements of his autobiography into the fabric of the narrative, Japin (fictionalized here as the character Maxim) details the dissolution of Maxim's relationship with a young actress, Gala, via a love triangle with the famed Italian director Federico Fellini, whom Japin here refers to as Snaporaz. Japin's innovative approach is to advance the story of Maxim and Gala within the narrated memory of Snaporaz, interleaving the tales of each man's romance with Gala in a cinematic fashion. The reader is immediately drawn into a narrative wherein a great tale of young adults mixes with Snaporaz's philosophical appreciation for a broadening vision of the arts. VERDICT Japin successfully delivers a heartbreaking description of that most elusive, complicated, and yet rewarding of human relationships--true love. Although this is evocative of the film Synecdoche, New York, Japin's storytelling is more lucid than Charlie Kaufman's.


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