The Crossed-Out Notebook: A comic debut with plenty of twists

Book review: Nicolas Giacobone’s first novel is about a screenwriter held captive in a basement

Nicolas Giacobone hilariously summarises the film industry and awards season

Nicolas Giacobone hilariously summarises the film industry and awards season

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.

The conceit of The Crossed-Out Notebook sees an Argentine screenwriter (so far, so meta – Giacobone is from Buenos Aires), held hostage in a basement by a famous film director with only an internet disabled laptop for company. Already five years in captivity in San Martín de los Andes when we meet him, Pablo has delivered two award-winning screenplays but his megalomaniac director Santiago is expecting even bigger things from his latest offering. Weary of winning Oscars for best foreign language pictures, Santiago insists that this new script must take the overall gong of best picture.

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