The Girl on Paper by Guillaume Musso

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The Girl on Paper by Guillaume Musso

Category: General Fiction
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Louise Laurie
Reviewed by Louise Laurie
Summary: A successful writer is enjoying life in the fast lane. Until his love life disintegrates that is and he then suffers writer's block of which there appears to be a rather unusual solution.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Maybe
Pages: 320 Date: November 2011
Publisher: Gallic Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1908313058

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This is a modern book for modern times. I loved the reader-friendly layout with big, bold type letting the reader know exactly where we were, in terms of storyline and location. But the story itself does jump about a lot and I suspect Musso wants to give a sense of urgency, a sense of frenetic energy at times.

The blurb on the back cover is intriguing but there appeared to be an element of fantasy which is not one of my favourite genres. For me, a little fantasy goes a long, long way. So I really didn't know if I was going to enjoy this book or not.

To give a sense of Tom's the central character writing success there's a clutch of newspaper quotes saying wonderful things about his books. He's been commissioned to write a trilogy. Two books in this Angel Trilogy have already been written and gobbled up by an adoring readership. Things go from good to very good as Columbia Pictures, no less, have purchased the film rights for the trilogy. No pressure then. Normally Tom would sit down and simply polish off the third book (as he did with the first two) but there's now a problem. His personal life has nose-dived, his gorgeous girlfriend has called it off and this has resulted in something far worse than death: writer's block.

Everyone appears to have abandoned the now-loser Tom apart from the long-term friend and agent, Milo. He cannot bear to see Tom in such a state. Slumped in an unwashed heap on the sofa, basically. He's not responding to the outside world. So emails, texts, phone calls are ignored. Apparently the irrepressible Milo has hatched a plan to save his friend. But it's daring and also rather far-fetched. Will it work?

Enter a pretty - and very mouthy - young woman called Billie. She's feisty and fearless, but sadly she's not real. She's a figment of the imagination - Tom's imagination. She's a character from one of his earlier books now in the flesh apparently. Yes, fantasy-land writ large.

The conversations between Billie and Tom are upbeat, charming and often quite funny. Musso has created a likeable character in Billie. She was the one - the only one really, who stood out. I had no trouble picturing her in my mind's eye. Pity she wasn't real. She quickly got my attention and also some of my sympathy. Tom came across as weak (I know that's part of his character flaw) but he was weak generally.

I forgot what he had to say almost as soon as he'd said it.

To be fair, I enjoyed around the first third of the book but then I lost interest. I felt the book overly long and some of the action duplicated all of which gave the book a padded-out feel which I didn't appreciate. The pace is sometimes slowed down by dense and rather dull paragraphs here and there. Musso's style generally lacked sparkle for me.

But - here's the rub. The ending is surprising, delightful and very good. But I had to wade through around 200 pages or so to get to some decent writing which was such a pity. So overall, a less-than-average read for me.

If this book appeals then you might like to try Dead Cat With Firelighter by Frances Day.

Buy The Girl on Paper by Guillaume Musso at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Girl on Paper by Guillaume Musso at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Girl on Paper by Guillaume Musso at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Girl on Paper by Guillaume Musso at Amazon.com.


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