The hilarious and poignant new novel from one of Britain's most entertaining and provocative writers
BEN ELTON's career as both performer and writer encompasses some of the most memorable and incisive comedy of the past twenty years. In addition to his hugely influential work as a stand-up comic, he is the writer of such TV hits as The Young Ones, Blackadder and The Thin Blue Line. Most recently he has written the BBC series Blessed on the subject of young parenthood. Elton has written three musicals, The Beautiful Game, We Will Rock You and Tonight's the Night and three West End plays. His internationally bestselling novels include The First Casualty (out in Black Swan paperback in April 2006) Popcorn, Inconceivable, Dead Famous and High Society. He wrote and directed the successful film Maybe Baby based on his novel Inconceivable starring Hugh Laurie and Joely Richardson.
Despite their repeated efforts, Sam and Lucy Bell, the loving yet infertile protagonists of British comedian Elton's (Popcorn) romantic comedy, cannot conceive a baby. When Lucy decides that their childlessness is at least partly due to the stress brought on by their efforts to conceive, she insists that they each keep diaries, to privately sort out their thoughts and emotions. The two diaries tell the story, with often hilariously divergent perspectives on the couple's reproductive struggle. Yet sperm tests, full-moon "bonks" on Primrose Hill, annoying New Age home remedies and Lucy's long-distance "adoption" of an endangered baby gorilla are not their only concerns. Sam, a frustrated would-be writer, is in the middle of a creative block, and he is also on the verge of losing his less-than-enthralling job as an executive at the BBC. Lucy, meanwhile, is being pursued romantically by a dashing but arrogant clientDshe's a film agentDand against her wishes, Sam is secretly using their troubles and diaries as inspiration for the screenplay he is finally writing. Despite his betrayal, Sam remains sweetly endearing. Elton captures the spirit of the modern bloke and the confusion that arises from a desire to be sensitive to one's partner's emotional needs while fulfilling traditional expectations of manhood. Laced with hip, witty asides, this he-said she-said comedy handily overcomes a somewhat sluggish start and manages to be both touching and laugh-out-loud funny. The book may receive some attention via the film Maybe Baby, based on this novel, directed by Elton and released in Australia this past August. (Dec.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.