I’m not sure where to start with this book, because revealing too much would definitely spoil certain points in the story for a new reader. I’ll just start by saying that The Last Days of Jack Sparks, by Jason Arnopp, is fantastic. It is hilarious, frustrating, irritating and heartbreaking. If you enjoyed John Dies at the End by David Wong, you’re probably going to love this. Be cautious though; while John Dies at the End is hilarious the whole way through, Jack Sparks will upset you.
The meta-fictional approach is an interesting one. Jason Arnopp has created an entire mythology surrounding Jack Sparks. There is a website in conjunction with the book, and it’s all maintained and curated in his name. There are contributions throughout the novel from his brother, notes to his editor and communications with his agent; they all provide a realistic grounding to the book, a convincing counterweight that breathe life into Jack and his world. I found the whole idea enthralling. It blurs the lines between fiction and reality. I first heard about the book when I saw a tweet by Orbit Books linking to an extract of an email chain between Sparks and his agent. The entries by Sparks to his battered and long-suffering agent drip with bravado and arrogance, and as soon as I saw it I knew that this was something special.Read More »