Fans of the movie Birdman will not be surprised that its co-author, Nicolas Giacobone, has written a debut novel full of metafictional twists and turns. The layered storytelling of the Oscar-winning movie doesn’t quite come off in the novel form, but there is much within to keep readers – and especially aspiring writers – interested along the way ... a prose style that is breezy, easy to read and packed with witty one liners ... With a plot that has strains of Stephen King’s Misery, there is, however, none of the dread or horror of crippled writer Paul Sheldon’s situation...a small amount of suspense early on is derived more from the absurd premise rather than any deliberate attempt on Giacobone’s part to evoke a malevolent atmosphere. His novel is Misery mined for laughs. For much of the book, this is enough to sustain us. Like any good screenwriter, Giacobone skilfully sets up the world ... Sadly, the charm starts to wear thin midway through the book and, ironically, Giacobone would do well to heed his character’s own advice about plot points and getting through the difficult middle. Perhaps it’s on purpose – the book frequently satirises its own plot and premise – but the repetitive musings and labyrinthine storytelling grow tiresome...The diversions become boring and jarring time shifts and reminders that the battery on his laptop is running out start to grate.
... meandering, philosophical ... Via Pablo, Giacobone eagerly explores the nature of inspiration and film’s essence as a collaborative art. But he also keeps the prose breezy; much of the novel is delivered in snappy, witty one-sentence paragraphs. And he assuredly ratchets up the tension as Pablo’s deadline approaches, making the final act a twisty revenge fantasy against formulaic art-making of all sorts ... A clever meditation on the joys and agonies of creativity, enlivened by its pressure-cooker plot.