David Thewlis: The Late Hector Kipling

<p><em><img width="240" vspace="10" hspace="10" height="240" align="left" alt="" src="/documents/UserContributed/51XfuqpwQ6L__AA240_(2).jpg" />Tom Tivnan writes:</em><br />
Let us first sing the praises of David Thewlis. He is a wonderful actor, with memorable turns in both art house films such as Mike Leigh's &quot;Naked&quot; and Hollywood blockbusters like the Harry Potter series. Now let us discuss <em>The Late Hector Kipling</em> (Picador, September), Thewlis's first stab at novel writing.&nbsp; Main character Hector is a successful artist, although not as successful as his Turner Prize nominated friend Lenny. Life seems good for Hector - he has a beautiful girlfriend and lovely parents, great friends. Yet things start going downhill after his self-portrait, the piece de resistance of a solo exhibition, is accidentally destroyed by a motorcyclist. His father's health begins to fail, friend Kirk announces he has cancer and then his girlfriend Eleni's mother is burned in a fire. And then he meets Rosa... But by the time Hector meets Rosa, it is difficult to care, so wearied are you by Hector's shrill selfishness, the uneven plotting and Thwelis' irritating stylistic tics (in conversation, his characters tend to repeat what each other says. Such as: Repeat each other? Yes, repeat each other. Really, repeat each other? That's what I said, repeat each other...). The book wants to be a combination of dark satire on the art world, surreal thriller and Nick Hornby-esque paean to guys and girls and the difficulties of love - but striving for all three, it reaches none. The take on the art world is toothless, and the thriller aspect is unconvincing. The novel is strongest when it looks at the nature of friends and relationships, and here there is a glimmer of promise for Thewlis as a novelist. But for the moment, my advice to him would be: don't give up the night job.</p>