Book Report Corner

by Zilla N.

Like everything I truly love, I have no idea how to describe Most Famous Short Film of All Time. This is not going to be a very good book review, which is a shame because it is a very, very good book. I got an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review so I’m honour-bound to do my best, even if it’s an impossible task.

I wish I had written this book.

In some ways, when I write, this is the book which I am trying to write. I can imagine telling Lev, the main character, that I no longer wished to write novels because he had already told my story better than I ever could. I imagine him answering that if I didn’t write, I hadn’t understood his story.

There’s a Philip K Dick book, Valis, which I read twice. I have never met anyone who read it even once, so I never get to talk about it. The book seamlessly weaves together mental illness, science fiction, and religion in a pseudo-autobiographical narrative. The first time I read it, I, along with the narrator, lost track of what was real. Years later, on reread, I still believed the narrator over my own memory of the storyline.

I was 25% through Most Famous Short Film of All Time before I realized that the protagonist’s name, Lev, was not the same as the author’s name, Tucker, so even though the book is written in the first person, it is not, strictly speaking, an autobiography. I’m making a joke about Valis but no one will get it unless they’ve read that book.

Philip K Dick had a religious epiphany that time was broken, and we’re actually living through one moment in 50 AD, waiting for the boss to come back. In the film Waking Life, they say Philip K Dick got it partly right. Maybe 80%. Time is stopped, and there’s only one moment, but it’s not 50 AD. It’s now. Like Alice (of Wonderland fame), Lev is stuck with jam yesterday and jam tomorrow but never jam today. Most Famous Short Film of All Time is about Lev choosing now.

This is not how to write a book review. I don’t know where I went wrong.

Please read Most Famous Short Film of All Time. I would like to talk about it with someone.

This stunning book came out yesterday. You can find it here.

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