I have spent a lot of the last two years reading writing about writing, as I studied literary criticism. In Not Another Happy Ending I’ve been doing much the same but in a fun and light-hearted way for a change. David Solomons’ book, adapted from the screenplay for the film of the same name, takes all sorts of clichés about writing and shakes them up.
Have you ever written a dramatic domestic scene where the tension builds as the kettle rises to the boil? Read ‘Not Another Happy Ending’ and you’ll be taking the red pen to all mentions of kettles. What about stories of would-be novelists who get the deal of their dreams, and discover that the reality of being a successful author isn’t all they had hoped? Well, that’s the cliché that Solomon’s book explores. There’s a handsome French publisher, with a hapless assistant, who takes up Jane’s first novel, a ‘misery-lit’ thinly disguised story of her childhood. The book sales start slowly, but then take off. Jane wins an award, meets a Hollywood screenwriter who soon becomes her boyfriend, and reconciles with her father. For the first time in a long while, she’s happy. But … and there’s always a but … she has to write another book. Second novels are called ‘difficult’ for a reason, and Jane’s struggling with the weight of expectations, while her screenwriter boyfriend is happily working on the screenplay of her first book.
There are plenty of fun twists and turns in the tale – a pub quiz team, a character from Jane’s book who becomes real, a run down cottage in the wilds of Scotland, and a book launch on a double decker bus. In Not Another Happy Ending David Solomons has done a great job of delving into the preconceptions surrounding becoming a successful writer and shaking them up.
This is an easy read, and I’d recommend it for holiday reading for writers … and anyone else who wants a fun romance where the girl gets her guy, of course!
You can also watch the film on Netflix – the trailer is below.
ETA: Having now watched the film, it’s fine, it’s fun … but the book is better!
Not Another Happy Ending costs around £7.99 in paperback and £3.49 on Kindle at the time of writing
Oh, I like the sound of this, off to add it to my (ever growing!) reading list 🙂 #whatimwriting
It’s a good one! Hope you find time to read it.
Ooh sounds good! Will add it to my list! Thanks for linking to #whatImWriting
Thanks Maddy. Hope your reading list is shorter than mine
Is it bad that I really want to watch the film? Book, not so much!
Not bad at all! I might watch it one evening this week
This sounds like a really fun book! Or maybe movie, given the amount of unread books I’m accruing… Definitely worth blowing apart those cliches. Although as I discovered with my redraft last year they can be lurking in the most unlikely places! x
I know. I flinched in one or two places and readied my red pen!
Oh that sounds like fun. Although possibly the sort of fun read that also brings out the red pen! There’s a Sophie Kinsella novel that’s based on the premise of a lawyer making a mistake and running away to the countryside; it’s great chick lit but being a lawyer myself the first set up section will always send a shiver of ice down my spine and I’ve yet to find a colleague who doesn’t react the same way!!
I’ve read that Sophie Kinsella book!
Sounds fun Stephanie and a welcome break from the heavier stuff in my reading list! #whatimwriting
It was definitely a fun read
I shall add this to the To be Read list. There are so many great books out there at the moment!
Sounds like an interesting and entertaining read! I adore Karen Gillan so the movie looks good to me too.