Mr Wilder and Me
The prize-winning, bestselling author of Middle England turns his gaze to one of cinema’s most intriguing figures – famed director of Some Like It Hot, Billy Wilder.
***SOON TO BE A MAJOR FILM***
In the summer of 1977, naive Calista Frangopoulou sets out to venture into the world. On a Greek island that has been turned into a film set, she finds herself working for Billy Wilder, about whom she knows almost nothing.
While Calista is thrilled with her new adventure, Wilder himself is living with the realisation that his star may be on the wane. Rebuffed by Hollywood, he has financed his film with German money, and when Calista follows him to Munich, she finds herself joining him on a journey of memory into the dark heart of his family history.
At once a tender coming-of-age story and an intimate portrait of a Hollywood icon, Mr Wilder and Me explores the nature of time and fame, of family and the treacherous lure of nostalgia . . .
‘Utterly charming, deeply poignant and ultimately uplifting’ Mail on Sunday
‘Sweeps beautifully from Hollywood to Greece and London’ FT, Best Books of 2020
‘The dialogue’s sharp, the comic timing excellent’ Sunday Times
Written with his signature wit, Jonathan Coe’s unmissable new novel, Bournville, is available to pre-order now!
A satisfyingly sweeping novel that still manages to push the form in new directions. As good as anything he's written - a novel to cherish * Observer * An account of Billy Wilder's later years that sweeps beautifully from Hollywood to Greece and London while all the time reflecting on the horrors of 20th-century Europe * FT, Best Books of 2020 * This elegiac novella is utterly charming, deeply poignant and ultimately uplifting. And yes, it would make a great film * Mail on Sunday * Knowledgeably enthralled by cinema, Jonathan Coe has often spliced it inventively into his fiction. This richly enjoyable novel is entirely devoted to it. The career of one of Hollywood's greatest directors is unrolled with wit and enthusiasm tinged with melancholy * The Sunday Times Best Fiction Books of the Year * Effortlessly pleasurable and deceptively simple. Mr Wilder & Me doesn't lack resonance, yet stays light on its feet. The whole book feels like some marvellous party where you ricochet from one good conversation to another * The Times * A coming of age story which offers a fascinating insight into fame - and the perils of an industry in flux * Daily Telegraph * The dialogue's sharp, the comic timing excellent * Sunday Times * One of my favourite writers . . . a thoughtful tender read * Good Housekeeping * A beautiful, bittersweet novel that is itself crying out for the silver screen treatment . . . sheer delight * Scotsman * This is a charming, bittersweet book, and a perfect reminder of art's value in stark times * Spectator * Absolutely wonderful * Nigella Lawson * A tender portrait. Coe's close-up on Wilder doesn't just celebrate the man but embodies his glorious ability to say sad things in a funny way, and vice versa * Daily Telegraph * History meets fiction in this absorbing read . . . A nostalgic look at a girl coming of age and a man dealing with age, evocatively written * Woman's Own * Elegantly brings together Calista's and Wilder's worlds * TLS * A love letter to the spirit of cinema * Guardian *
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