Books: “The Last Resort” by Andrew Lipstein
Have you ever shared an idea with a friend? And then saw that idea turn up in the marketplace, courtesy of that so-called friend?
That’s the dilemma that faces Caleb, the protagonist of The Last Resort: Andrew Lipstein’s fabulous debut novel. A former advertising copywriter and would-be novelist, Caleb visits LA, where he reconnects with a guy he knew from his writing program back in college. In idle conversation, the guy recounts the steamy tale involving a woman and another couple he met while vacationing in Greece.
Caleb is fascinated, then promptly takes the idea and develops a full-fledged novel from it. He’s about to sign a contract and get a huge advance, when the LA friend gets wind of what’s going on and wants in on the action.
What follows is a back-and-forth he said/he said story that is ten times more interesting than what happened in Greece. But the bigger question is: whose idea is it anyway? Is Caleb entitled to the fame and glory, since the LA friend was a crap writer and couldn’t have fleshed it out in a million years? Or is the LA guy right in claiming it was his idea?
No more spoilers for “Last Resort” except to say it reveals the extent to which people will go to claim credit for an idea they believe is rightly theirs. And to that end, if somebody asks you how you found out about this truly wonderful book, I won’t mind if you give them my name.