The strange tale of the book that never existed
All My Colors by David Quantick Titan Books
This week’s book was picked out, at first, almost solely on appearance.
As I am very much the kind of person to judge a book (just a little bit) by its cover. I always look for books with cover art, fonts and visuals that interest or stir emotions for me. The imagery on this cover - of the girl with her eyes crossed out by imperfect, black stars as shocking beams of colour curl around her – made me feel, instantly lost into whichever world David Quantick desired to take me to. Although one should not judge a book entirely on its cover, the power a beautiful book can hold over your mind should be underestimated.
After reading the blurb and deciding that under no circumstances would I not be in possession of this story by the end of the hour, I began to read. We learn a lot about the book’s main character, Todd Milstead, and the way in which he lives his life. Todd is a currently unpublished author who spends his nights discussing literature with his not quite as difficult friends until they all, including his wife, grow tired of his egotistical tendencies and cruel remarks about his friends’ lives and abilities.
For all his nonsense there seem to be only two differences between Todd and his friends: Todd has an incredible memory, and is unreasonably rude about how many famous books he knows off by heart. But then he begins to quote from a book that never existed and no-one, not even Todd, knows where it comes from. He couldn’t have made it up, could he?
I am completely in love with David Quantick’s writing style and have decided that though I would read a similar plot in any form by any writer, truly the best way to read it is in the delightfully funny words of David Quantick. Of course there are many ways in which this book could have not been funny, and yet, even with a reasonably serious plot there was a fantastic spark of humour in every word as we were allowed to watch from the sidelines and find our all the ways Todd Milstead’s life could fall apart because of a book found, not in his study, but within his own mind.
I loved every part of this novel, the story which I read and of course the story which Todd Milstead discovered. It’s marvellously original yet classic. The ideas expressed and the way that this book was written have been missing in modern literature for an unreasonable period of time. David Quantick should be and will be, the one to fill that gap.