BooksAre You Dave Gorman?’ offers much greater depth than the television version of events. Rather like the diaries Michael Palin kept of his travels, here we see the cracks filled in, the moments which could not possibly expressed within the comedy series. Part way through the first chapter it becomes clear that is not the story of Dave Gorman at all, but his best friend Danny Wallace, the man who proposed the bet in the first place. It’s about their friendship and keeping it together by impossible odds; his battle to keep within the spirit of a true Britishness which he has been brought up on. His loyalty to his friend is tested by a new ‘character’, his girlfriend Hanne (pronounced Hannah). She is the Norwegian balance the story needs to stop the story flying off completely into eccentricity, forever questioning her boyfriend about the validity of disappearing off to New York at a moments notice, and why a journey like this needs to be taken if the costs financially and emotionally are so extreme.

The book is separated into two voices. In bold we have Dave, whose words are a development of the television script – many of the same jokes appear the striking feature being that he seemed to think that the whole affair was pure sanity. In light is Danny, perhaps the greater writer, his journalistic experience to the fore, painting Dave as a much curiouser man. In some places, it may have been nice to have Hanne’s voice in there as well – at times she is quite a distant figure, her actual feelings about the endevour not entirely clear. Interjections from her, far away from the main story may a slowed the pace and added an extra layer of context.

But I don’t want to criticise what is a great book, certainly ripe for a screen adaptation (I favour John Cusak for Dave, Matthew Broderick for Danny, Joey Lauren Adams for Hanne). This is one of the compulsive stories that you wish would not end and at the end you wish they would go off and find fifty-four Danny Wallaces…it seems only fair… [Interview via Waterstones]

No comments:

Post a comment