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the Complete Review
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The Errol Flynn Novel

Geoff Nicholson

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To purchase The Errol Flynn Novel

Title: The Errol Flynn Novel
Author: Geoff Nicholson
Genre: Novel
Written: 1993
Length: 212 pages
Availability: The Errol Flynn Novel - US
The Errol Flynn Novel - UK
The Errol Flynn Novel - Canada

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Our Assessment:

B- : some fun, but the story gets too far-fetched and rambling

See our review for fuller assessment.

Review Summaries
Source Rating Date Reviewer
TLS . 15/10/1993 Patrick O'Connor

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The complete review's Review:

       The Errol Flynn Novel is, in part, about the making of The Errol Flynn Novel. The young English actor Jake has not had his big break yet, and he works in a photocopy shop to make ends meet. Then he is introduced to larger than life American film director Dan Ryan and cast as the lead in a movie about Errol Flynn. Unlikely ? Perhaps. But Nicholson begins his novel nicely, and we are willing to go along with it.
       Ryan's obsession with Flynn is well-conveyed, and Jake gets caught up nicely in that. Flynn is an interesting figure, and Nicholson describes him -- and the similarly unpredictable Ryan -- well.
       Once the actual shooting of the movie begins the book begins to go downhill. Ryan is an unusual director, with odd habits and unlikely ways of going about filming (including filming without much of a script), and while Nicholson has some fun with this it begins to get tedious relatively quickly. The shadow of the actual Flynn always looms over the picture, and while Nicholson does integrate that well on occasion he does not seem to get as much out of it as he might.
       Ultimately the film mysteriously collapses. It would not seem, given Ryan's lavish spending (which increases into complete extravagance as the filming winds down), that it is because of money. But suddenly its over.
       From there Nicholson develops a second plot, explaining Ryan, his obsession with Flynn, and, most importantly, the source of the money to make the movie. Jake is lured to travel to the United States (unconvincingly, we thought) -- to Las Vegas --, and he gets himself mired in the Ryan's mess. There are elements of a thriller here, and Nicholson's basic idea and some of his plot twists are entertaining enough: we are curious to find out how it will be resolved. Unfortunately, Nicholson falls short in his presentation. Interest flags, some of the turns are disappointing and more seem simply too unlikely.
       It is a somewhat entertaining, fast read, with a fair amount of interesting consideration of Errol Flynn, but not near Nicholson's usual standard.

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Reviews: Errol Flynn: Geoff Nicholson: Other books by Geoff Nicholson under review: Other books of interest under review:
  • See Index of Contemporary British fiction

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About the Author:

       English author Geoff Nicholson, born in Sheffield in 1953, has written a flurry of novels. He lives in London and New York.

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