Mr Wilder & Me by Jonathan Coe assessment – satisfyingly sweeping | Jonathan Coe
TThe return of Jonathan Coe has been one of the most exciting aspects of recent writing. He is a writer whose work can be wisely edited for many years. There was a 20-year study; then in his 30s with memorable books, making names – What a Carve Up !, The House of Sleep, The Rotters’ Club. Then it seemed as if Coe was starting to boil a little, with 40- and 50-year-old books – Before the Rain, Maxwell Sim’s Big Secret and Expo 58 in particular – all lacking the sense and humor of what he had already done. Coe to the best of his ability was a rare thing: a translator who has a lot of modern content, a jeux d’esprit that also has a great deal to do with important issues. In winning awards in Costa and Middle England, he seemed to be re-emerging as a centerpiece.
Pursuing success is not easy at all but the life and light that flooded Middle East is preserved and multiplied by Mr Wilder & Me. This is a book that focuses on Coe’s original early, production, like What a Carve Up !, featuring a movie in a consistent and sophisticated way, giving readers an exciting book that still manages to push a new form of movement. It reaches up to 60 pages in the middle of the book where the abrupt narratives suddenly resemble Billy Wilder’s writings – but this is a video in which Wilder himself is a star. We meet “Billie” at a young age, in the war, when he gave a lovely and made a video that somehow paid for the offer. Her writing covers the whole story and is one of the most amazing moving objects I have read over the years. Coe’s best books always sounded more fraudulent in the short run than they read. The same can be said of this.
It’s hard not to understand that it has a book on the nature of work, from a writer who turned seventeen years old.
Calista is a multi-songwriter on an empty nest nest. Her twins, Ariane and Francesca, are also at a crossroads. Ariane is going to Australia, where Francesca has found out she is pregnant and is trying to decide if she can keep the baby. Calista is 57 years old, has a job she did well but now feels forgotten, and is performing in a “small, orchestra room” section, called Billy. Billy who is being interviewed by Wilder, the executive director, whom he met in America as a teenager, and his future is connected to him since then. The book looks back on his interesting ideas and animations with Wilder.
Calista was raised in Greece, a shy and educated girl, “stupid, lonely and lonely”. After meeting Wilder and his co-author, Iz Diamond (both of whom are “married for life”, their wives say), Calista immerses himself in the cinema, studying heart Halliwell. Soon, he is joined by Wilder to help with the production of one of his latest works, Fedora, “about an old filmmaker, trying to make a video that was out of place at the time”. Calista was originally a translator for the footage shot in Greece, but is following the film in Munich and Paris. Upon arriving in Corfu, he met a young man, Matthew, who had his own desires. The story of their love is beautiful, vivid, perfectly judged.
In 1945, Billy Wilder produced a film called Death Mills about the Nazis. In it he showed “the whole field, the whole place of corpses”. He also designed Sunset Boulevard, Others Like It Hot and The Apartment. While Wilder & Me appears to be a Künstlerroman traveler about a girl who discovered her love of video, music and boys, it also describes how a generation of filmmakers reacted to the dangers of World War II and the dangers of viewing entertainment, especially jokes, as a real escape. dangerous. It’s hard not to understand that it has a book on the nature of work, from a writer who travels confidently to seventeen years. Wilder has not been able to regain professional respect for the middle class, but at Mr Wilder & Me, Coe has done more than that. This is as good as anything you have written – a very important book.
• Mr Wilder & Me author Jonathan Coe is published by Viking (£ 16.99). To order your copy go to guardianbookshop.com. Shipping costs may be used