Gordon Osmond is an enigma in many ways. He has reinvented himself many, many times over the years, and it is with nothing less than a great pleasure that I write a review for his debut novel Slipping on Stardust. I could of course, be nothing less than compulsively in love with this book. I could sit here and say I didn’t understand it– I did– many will not. Is that a slur on Mr Osmond? Not at all. It is a sad fact that the use of educated English has dropped significantly in recent years. I do not think the dragon and vampire dwelling teenage readers will ever quite understand the kind of writing presented here. What we have here is something resembling a classic.
Now, you may be wondering why I say ‘resembling’? Well, frankly, the word classic has been thrown around so much it has tarnished the very notion of the word. Gordon Osmond writes like a professional writer. He writes with flair and purpose and his characters are almost written for the screen.
Let me tell you about the plot before I start boring you with the details. What is the damn book about, right? Well… Imagine a movie star arriving in your neighbourhood. Your quiet, slow and usually comfortably boring neighbourhood. What would happen if he came to star in a local production? How would the town react, even if the star was ageing, over-the-hill, how would he be treated? How would the local amateur actors and actresses take to that? Throw in with care some key ingredients like sexual confusion, scandal, suicide, kidnapping…
You have found yourself with a story to remember.
Gordon Osmond has in many ways written something resembling the Hollywood classics. This isn’t a blockbuster. You will not find Sly Stallone running around in any movie adaptation of this book. It relies on plot and characterisation. In many ways, I was picking out actors for the roles as I learned more about the characters. I could see a part for Burt Lancaster, I could see a part for Dick Haymes, I could see a part for James Mason, I could see so many different nuances of Hollywood in its finest era. If this book had been written back then, it would have been a fine movie. Of that, there’s no doubt.
However, let me return to the point I was making earlier. This book is going to stump many people. Gordon Osmond writes with such eloquency and style- it is true that he writes like Oscar Wilde- but ask the younger generation of book readers who Oscar Wilde is and they will probably admit they have no idea.
Osmond is the King of Hollywood knowledge.
Will Slipping on Stardust be the teenage favourite? Probably not. Does Gordon Osmond care? Probably not. Do I care? Not at all, because this book is full of merit. Do his readers care? Not one jot. This book is bestseller material.
Want to go read something really cool and new and interesting? Yes? Okay, go buy this one guys!