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Synopses & Reviews
When Bill Gaston released his early novel, The Cameraman, in 1994, critics raved about the writer's brilliance and inventiveness — but, regrettably, the novel was on the shelves only briefly.
Now, after almost a decade, this searing and funny gem from one of our most gifted writers is available again, in a re-edited and completely revised version. The story is told in "scenes" from the point of view of Francis, an alcoholic cameraman, who has trained his lens on the life of his friend and mentor, a manipulative and enigmatic director named Koz. The plot pivots around two women: Bev, a former starlet who is involved with both men; and Sheila, a famous actress who is found dead. The novel opens with Sheila's death-on-film by lethal injection, an act that has sinister implications for Koz, the director of the film, who knew what was happening, and for cameraman Francis, who didn't. When Koz is brought to trial and Francis is asked to testify against him, the sordid "truth" is revealed. Here is a novel as timeless, engrossing and transgressive as cinema verité.
"The author of four novels, three short-story collections and several plays, Bill Gaston ought to be a household name by now. Long-time fans of his previous works already know the truth: Gaston is quite possibly one of our nation?s most unsung, highly skilled writers." The Globe and Mail
"Gaston's short fiction displays realistic dialogue, lyrical description and a colourful range of characterization." Toronto Star
"[Bill Gaston's] stories have a maturity and a freshness of perspective that makes them stand with the best our writers have to offer." Vancouver Sun
"The Cameraman" is a novel as timeless, engrossing, and transgressive as cinema veriti. This captivating, darkly funny tale is told in "scenes" from the perspective of Francis, a cameraman who has trained his lens on the life of his friend and mentor, an enigmatic director named Koz. The plot pivots around two women: Bev, a former starlet who is involved with both men; and Sheila, a famous actress who dies on film by a lethal injection. This incident has sinister implications for director Koz, who knew what was happening, and for cameraman Francis, who didn't. Koz is brought to trial for Sheila's murder in Washington, D.C., where Francis holes up in a hotel to meditate on his relationship with the dangerous, charismatic director and on the events that led to Sheila's death. When Francis is called to testify, the sordid "truth" may be revealed.
About the Author
Bill Gaston has published four acclaimed novels and four story collections, including Mount Appetite, nominated for the 2002 Giller Prize. In 1999, he won the CBC/Saturday Night Canadian Literary Award for fiction. He lives in Victoria, British Columbia, where he teaches at the University of Victoria.
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