Can you name this fiction book by description only? Please help!?

The story is about an aspiring author with writer's block who "acquires" the draft of his dead roommate's novel and passes it off as his own, which makes him a successful writer for a time until a forgotten one-night stand reappears to blackmail him...I read this a few years ago, and I think it was written around 2002, but can't be sure. Thanks for any input!

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
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    "About the Author" by John Colapinto

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/About-Author-John-Colapint...

    "Cal Cunningham is a stockroom boy and would-be novelist, sharing a tiny flat in New York with conscientious law student Stewart Church. Hampered by writer's block, Cal embarks on a series of one-night stands to give him some inspiration. Unfortunately this does not do the trick, and he remains as unproductive as ever. Stewart dies in a traffic accident on the day that Cal discovers that his flatmate has written his own novel, based on Cal's nocturnal adventures. Our hero decides to publish the work under his own name, reasoning that it is 'his' story, after all. The book is a huge success, film deals are signed, and Cal becomes very rich and famous...The End. Well, it may have ended there if it were not for the two other copies of the manuscript: one having been posted to Stewart's ex-girlfriend; the other stored on his laptop, stolen before his death by one of Cal's conquests. As Cal attempts to retrieve the copies, his newly idyllic lifestyle begins to unravel, and he is taught some strong lessons about plagiarism. As the paranoia intensifies, this could all have become very silly. However, the first person narrative style works well to keep things in check. It is clear that Cal is even more disbelieving of the nightmarish events that befall him than the most sceptical of readers. Despite his constant self-justification, plagiarism seems to infect every aspect of his existence. He does not just steal Stewart's novel, but the life he may have had, were it not for the accident, right down to marrying the unfortunate man's ex-girlfriend. At his lowest point, he even co-opts the murder plot from a Hitchcock film for his own desperate purposes. This is a breeze of a read; a funny, enjoyable thriller with an interesting premise, even if the ending reeks of wish-fulfilment. Is it too much to hope, however, that authors will stop telling their readers that they know something is a cliche, before repeating it anyway with no attempt to subvert it, or freshen it up? (Kirkus UK) "

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