Regular price: $14.95
Buy Now with 1 Credit
Buy Now for $14.95
In this novella's rather dreary future, the washed out artificiality of Hollywood has reached dystopian levels of decay. People literally do not make movies anymore, with studios instead employing computer-generated likenesses of long-dead stars to produce remakes, sequels, and blatant copies of previous successes.
Thus we have the setting for a fairly straightforward love story with a little mystery, in which our hero meets Alys, a beauty who wants to dance in the movies. His struggles to cope with his own difficulties, personal and professional, help add context to this very ramshackle landscape. As sci-fi, the author creates a fairly well-drawn world, giving you enough detail to sell the premise, even if things in the real world haven't quite gone as badly since Remake's publication date as they might have. At the same time, Willis calls out the shallowness of the movie-making business while sending up any number of tributes to its glory days. I have no doubt that someone who has a deeper familiarity with cinema and musicals in particular than I possess would find much entertaining about the little bits of trivia sprinkled throughout the narrative. As is, they form an interesting contrast to the lows Hollywood has sunk to in Willis's early twenty-first century.
While listening to the author's descriptions of the techniques employed to "create" entertainment in the computer-generated era, I was reminded of something she said in an Audible interview a few years ago, essentially that every story that can be told already has been, but how you retell it is what matters. In Remake, the listener can find a future in which ownership of art as intellectual property reaches disturbing extremes, coupled with purely profit-driven production methods to stamp out creativity in exchange for Terminator 9 and Beverly Hills Cop 15. When considered with the very real problem that copyright issues and intellectual property litigation have generated in recent years, one might be tempted to take a second look at Remake's outlandish future as something that isn't just what might have been as seen by an author in the mid-1990s, but something that still yet might be. Or it can be a simple love story, complete with a classic Willis ending, touching and heartfelt.
There are very few characters, a good thing in such a short work. This allows the narrator to really shine, giving everyone very recognizable voices. The first person narrative is alive with self-awareness and subtle and at key points not so subtle emotion, which really works well.
I definitely recommend this as a quick read. For Audible members, the low price makes it unattractive as a credit purchase, so perhaps waiting for one of Audible's periodic sales might be called for.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
I have a bias on this book. I've always loved it. But it makes a wonderful listen as well. It's a completely unexpected bit of silly by an author who does it best. Treat yourself. This is a complete delight.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful