Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Vanishing Game

 tags:  adventure, mystery, short story, travelogue-ish

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A down-on-his luck actor is paired with a weather-battered Land Rover Defender on a seemingly innocuous courier job. But some things are too good to be true and this innocent journey quickly unfolds into a dangerous plot with a shadowy cast of characters.

William Boyd was commissioned by Land Rover to write a novella. The Vanishing Game is the result. He was reportedly paid a low six-figure sum according to the Guardian interview.
He told the Guardian that despite the payout he had "total liberty to invent but it would be nice if Land Rover was mentioned" and in the 17,000-word story the character, Alec Dunbar, drives a Land Rover Defender.
"It was a most intriguing job to be asked to do. I would recommend it to any novelist, if they got the chance," he said. "Novelists have always written to commission, for example Charles Dickens. If I was approached to write a Batman movie I would assume it would have to feature Batman. There's really no difference in this case."
Boyd admitted he had "no idea how I'll be viewed" but added that he didn't "really care, to be honest". 
I've read 4 William Boyd novels. The Blue Afternoon is my favorite. I'm a bit conflicted with this very very short story. It is interesting and well-written but the ending is vague and left me wondering. I think it's still worth an hour of my time though.

If you have an hour, or 45 minutes if you're a fast reader, to spare, you can read/watch it at thevanishinggame, or download the ebook format with several photos to your device for free from Amazon.

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