Last Resort by Andrew Lipstein - review by Geoff Mills

Geoff Mills

The Plagiarist’s Tale

Last Resort

By

Weidenfeld & Nicolson 304pp £14.99 order from our bookshop
 

One drunken, lachrymose Los Angeles evening, Caleb Horowitz, a young, ambitious writer, listens to his glamorous frenemy Avi Dietsch confess to a polyamorous entanglement on a Greek island. The story – sad, steamy and full of soul – is the stuff of novels; indeed the next day Avi hands his story over to Caleb in manuscript form. Caleb instantly purloins the narrative, ditching the stale prose and his ethics to transform it into a bestseller. The legal fallout obliges Caleb to accept a Faustian bargain which leaves him haunted by questions of authenticity, originality and artistic success.

Caleb, the morally ambiguous, self-deluding narrator, tells his tale in conversational, if occasionally elliptical, prose. A digital native immersed in the world of the internet, Caleb is compulsively attached to his mobile and the thriller-esque plot is propelled forward by a slew of live-action updates: his phone is perpetually

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