HC clinches Cronenberg novel

<p>Fourth Estate has paid a five-figure sum to clinch Canadian film director David Cronenberg&#39;s d&eacute;but novel, <em>Consumed</em>. Tracy Bohan at The Wylie Agency struck the deal for UK and Commonwealth exc Canada rights with Fourth Estate&#39;s Nicholas Pearson and Mark Richards. Cronenberg has written 40 pages already, and the book is due in 2009.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s exactly what you would hope for from a Cronenberg novel,&quot; said Richards. &quot;It has that slightly uneasy, dark feeling, but also a funny tone that his films share. It&#39;s wonderful that it&#39;s from him, but it&#39;s the strength of the writing that is so impressive.&quot;</p><p>The novel is about a married couple who are investigative journalists. The woman is reporting&nbsp; on a bizarre crime in Paris where a wife has been killed (and possibly eaten), and her husband has disappeared. The male journalist is also in Europe, writing about the doctor behind an unorthodox new cancer treatment, which involves planting radioactive material near the illness.</p><p>Richards said that <em>Consumed</em> had taken its cue from J G Ballard&#39;s fiction (Cronenberg directed the film of Ballard&#39;s <em>Crash</em>). &quot;It&#39;s that sense of a reality that has gone slightly askew,&quot; he said. </p>