Twoforthepriceofone Weaselsemblance is undoubtedly the UK’s leading contemporary novelist. His magnum opus Shiny Thing is a 2598 page multi-award winning expose of 24 hours in the life of a North Grimsby streetlight. Rumour has it that Hollywood is close to signing a multimillion-dollar deal to make a film of the book, with several of Hollywood’s most famous leading men keen to take the central role. After all, as one movie agent said ‘it is not often in a film career that a leading star would have to play such a demanding role’.
There is talk, however, that rather than the painstaking examination of what it is like to stand motionless on a British northern city street for hours, days, weeks, years and decades the film studios are interested in other aspects of the novel.
Instead, the Hollywood version of the story may instead concentrate on the streetlight’s later career as a crime-fighting superhero out in the depths of space. There the Evil Empire is preparing a deadly swarm of merciless killer aliens to invade the Earth and take over the street lighting department of Grimsby Town Council.
Although, there is also talk that Weaselsemblance may turn down the movie deal, feeling that Hollywood may compromise his artistic vison. Although, there are some that say the notoriously snobbish literary award industry may dismiss him from contention in future literary awards if the film version of his book makes him too popular with the general public.
As one literary award judge said, ‘the whole point of these awards is to give them to writers no-one has heard of and – in a good year – no-one has ever read.’ After all, the whole point of a literary prize-winning book is not to be read. Instead, it exists to be displayed in a prominent position in the buyer’s house, quite possibly in a place where it looks as though someone deeply engrossed in it has put it down reluctantly.
Although, quite a prominent name in literary circles where it is rumoured that his books sometimes sell in the tens, Weaselsemblance was – until recently – little known outside the literary genre, or even to people who read books.
Consequently, one of his earlier books Dribble about a privet hedge that dreams of one day becoming a famous football player was added to the national curriculum almost five years ago. Many teachers have praised the book, saying the novel is almost guaranteed to lull an entire classroom into a stupor for an entire afternoon. Consequently, this enables the teachers to get on with the far more serious work of applying for a job in better school, ideally a school that numbers far fewer antisocial psychopaths amongst its pupils.
As a committed socialist, though, it seems more and more likely that Weaselsemblance could turn down the movie deal for his latest book. Especially if he feels the sum offered does not match his estimation of his literary worth. Speaking from his third home in the Caribbean where he goes when working to produce a staggeringly hectic one novel every 25 years, Weaselsemblance said ‘truth is far more important than money, as I often say to my team of accountants. However, for important tax reasons, they have persuaded me that this may not necessarily always be the case.’
So, on that typically Weaselsemblance-esque ambiguity, it looks like we – and the Hollywood actors eager to play a Grimsby lamppost in deep space – will just have to wait and see which way Weaselsemblance decides to go – Hollywood or literary integrity.