‘Antkind’ by Charlie Kaufman
The debut novel from the screenwriter and director of ‘Being John Malkovich’, ‘Synecdoche, New York’ and more is the zippiest postmodern, self-referential doorstop you’ll ever read
Adam Rivett is a Melbourne-based writer. He has written for The Lifted Brow, The Age, The Australian, Island, Fireflies and Seizure.
The typical Charlie Kaufman screenplay? Exuberant invention constrained by feature film limitations. His first novel? An enormous thumbed nose at restraint. This review? Too short for a long book. More than 700 pages, but the zippiest postmodern self-referential doorstop you’ll ever read. Feels written in a joyous rush; should be consumed likewise. Antic spirit abounds – slapstick comedy, multiplying personalities, fracturing timelines. Plotholes and literal potholes.
Story? Insufferable film critic discovers unseen three-month-long film by unknown artist, accidentally incinerates it, then attempts recall of destroyed-but-for-one-frame film so it can be reconstructed/rediscovered via meditative/technological means. Narrator? B. Rosenberger Rosenberg, aforementioned film critic, whose voice is a grotesque parody of politically correct hectoring. A supremely off-putting but...
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