On a much lighter tone: Warren Dunford's Soon to be a Major Motion Picture (Riverbank Press, 255 pages, $17.99 paper) is a playful, entertaining send-up of artistic ambition. Mitchell Draper, twenty-eight, is a gay scriptwriter wannabe moonlighting as an office temp. He and his two closest friends-Ingrid Iverson, a visual artist who runs a coffee shop, and Ramir Martinez, an actor who works in a health food store-dream of one day (preferably soon) finding fame, fortune, and true love-all in downtown Toronto.
Each of the three seems about to get his or her big break: Ingrid has been "discovered" by one of her customers, the owner of a well-known gallery, who notices her paintings on the coffee shop walls. Ramir, in an attempt to get himself discovered, has decided to stage a one-man multi-media production to showcase his talents. Meanwhile, Mitchell has been hired by a mysterious, mouthy, hugely obnoxious producer named Carmen Denver to write the script for A Time for Revenge, a movie thriller which Mitchell soon learns is somewhat less than thrilling. When his own life starts to take on the characteristics of a B movie plot (complete with threatening phone calls and a stalker who looks like Antonio Banderas), Mitchell does some research: it turns out the script he's working on is based on a true story.
It would be unfair to reveal more about what actually happens. Let it suffice to say that the plot of the novel itself is as unlikely as the plot of Mitchell's script; however, both are fast-paced, clever, and a lot of fun.