Much-loved and admired novelist Christopher Fowler follows up his acclaimed memoir, Paperboy, with a second beautifully told, funny and affecting autobiographical volume, recounting his years in Britain's movie business.
It’s the late 1970s and 20-something Christopher Fowler is a film freak, obsessively watching lousy films in run-down fleapit cinemas. He longs to be a famous screenwriter and put his dreams on the big screen. And so he heads for Wardour Street, Britain’s equivalent of Hollywood.
But he’s made a spectacular mistake, arriving just as the nation’s filmmakers are falling to their knees, brought low by the arrival of video and the destruction of the old movie palaces. The only films being made are smutty low budget farces and TV spinoffs and instead of being asked to write another
'Bullitt’, he's churning out short films advertising boilers and nylon sheets. Somehow, against the odds, he finds success – although in a very different guise to the one he expected.
From the sticky Axminster of the local cinema to the red carpet at Cannes, Film Freak is a grimly hilarious and acutely observed trawl through the arse-end of the British film industry that turns into an ultimately affecting search for friendship and happiness.
“Film Freak is Fowler's brisk, chatty memoir... His writing is peppered with trenchantly funny film references. Fowler's gifts are those of a performing raconteur more than a cultural essayist - but he's so entertaining, moment by moment, that you readily accept this deal.”
“A master storyteller, he slips deftly from fiction to fact: I've rarely read a better analysis of the movie business...This is a beautifully written and often hilarious book.”
“a natural autobiographer, charming, funny, perceptive and mercifully free of the usual egomaniacal windbaggery.... I was so smitten with this book that I read it through from cover to cover in one sitting. At times, I found myself laughing loudly and lengthily. Above all, though, I was moved.”
John Preston, Daily Mail
“An homage to pre-digital cinema, an elegy for a vanishing London of almost half a century ago and a tribute to friendship, gonzo-style. Two thumbs up for this triple-billing.”
“He's written a roomful of books, including the Bryant & May series of crimers, but his memoirs are just as much fun... Hugely entertaining this.”
“This is the sort of book that should be prescribed as a pick-me-up on the NHS...Film Freak is gold-plated writing: uproarious, then dark, and surprisingly moving. Above all it's a fabulous evocation of a London, and a way of life, now almost gone for ever. *****”
Mail on Sunday
“Dazzlingly funny and evocative . . . conjures up a world before corporate suits took over, when rubbishy films played all day in smoke-filled cinemas and stars would do a quick advert for a wad of cash. It’s also the most tender and genuine story of a bizarre and complicated relationship . . .anyone who loves film and brilliant writing should invest in this slice of British culture”