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Review: Potboiler

August 17, 2012

College professor Arthur Pfefferkorn and bestselling novelist William de Vallée have been friends for years.  Arthur had one book published years ago but hasn’t had any success with his writing since then.  When William dies, Arthur is invited to the memorial service and decides to go – after all, he too loved William’s widow Carlotta.

Arthur and Carlotta reconnect and Carlotta shows Arthur William’s unfinished manuscript.  William decides to steal the manuscript and finish it.  He submits the work as his own, the book is published, and Arthur’s life spirals out of control.

Potboiler, by Jesse Kellerman, started out strong for me.  Who doesn’t like to read about a novelist?  And, a rivalry between two novelists is even better.  Throw in a love triangle, and I’m totally hooked.  Things went south for me, though, after Arthur’s version of William’s novel is published.  I know the book is supposed to be satire but, to be honest, I became quite confused.  The story line became pretty outlandish and the character and place names were as well.  I decided to stick with it to see where things were going and if it would all come together but it never really did for me.  This would probably work better for someone who reads a lot of spy novels – I have a feeling they would understand more of the satire and parody than I did.

I listened to the audio version of Potboiler.  It’s narrated by Kirby Heyborne and he does a commendable job.  In fact, I think his narration is the reason I stuck with the book.  The audio is on 9 CDs and lasts approximately 11 hours.

Review copy provided by Penguin Books.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
19 Comments leave one →
  1. August 17, 2012 6:17 am

    It’s been an awfully long time since i read any of the (various) Kellermen novels. They sort of went the way of james Patterson for me. Sorry this one didn’t work so well.

  2. bookingmama permalink
    August 17, 2012 7:26 am

    It seems like you’re not alone with your feelings about this book. It’s a shame because I have enjoyed so many of his parents’ novels.

  3. August 17, 2012 8:18 am

    Sounds like one if I am going to try, stick with audio. Good thoughts on this Kathy.

  4. August 17, 2012 8:41 am

    Narrators can make or break a story. I’m a little intrigued, will have to see.

  5. August 17, 2012 10:01 am

    Sorry it dissapointed. At least you stuck it out and hoped it would get better. That’s too bad though.

  6. talesofwhimsy permalink
    August 17, 2012 10:56 am

    Thanks for your honesty. I haven’t heard of this one.

  7. August 17, 2012 12:54 pm

    I hadn’t heard of this one either. Thanks for your honest review. I am impressed with your ability to listen to so many audio books.

  8. August 17, 2012 2:35 pm

    I’d probably really be lost then, because I hardly ever read spy novels. 🙂

  9. Patty permalink
    August 17, 2012 3:35 pm

    Oh me oh my…I hate being lost that way…not a huge fan of anything spy either!

  10. August 17, 2012 4:17 pm

    I have read several books by Jonathan Kellerman and Faye Kellerman…and when their son Jesse started bringing out the books, I was excited. But so far, I am not impressed with his style. Perhaps I just don’t connect with it?

  11. August 17, 2012 8:27 pm

    I’ve stayed with a book because of the narrator as well. Sorry it did not turn around for you.

  12. August 18, 2012 7:46 am

    Sorry this wasn’t a winner for you.

  13. August 18, 2012 10:31 am

    I have a copy of this so eventually I’m going to give it try. I do like the occasional spy novel so I’m hoping I’ll get the satire.

  14. August 18, 2012 4:52 pm

    Isn’t there a movie out now with a plot like this? I don’t like to be confused either when I am reading a book!

  15. August 18, 2012 8:00 pm

    I’m not big on outlandish either.

  16. August 19, 2012 12:09 am

    I’m not sure what I would make of this one. I’m not a huge fan of spy novels, so that kind of throws me off. But this sounds like something I would enjoy.

  17. Staci@LifeintheThumb permalink
    August 19, 2012 10:32 am

    I read Jesse’s first book because I have loved his parents books in the past. I just was never drawn into his writing.

  18. August 21, 2012 4:24 pm

    Too bad it didn’t quite hold together. I know there is a movie coming out with Bradley Cooper that sounds somewhat similar — about a writer who steals another author’s book — but the other author is still alive.

  19. August 25, 2012 2:46 pm

    I see other’s have noticed the similarity between this and the new movie coming out. I think I’d feel the same way you did about the satire.

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