Federico Felliniâ€™s oeuvre is widely recognized as a major contribution to modern culture. Indeed, according to Wikipedia, his movie, 8 Â½ is ranked the third best film of all time by the British Film Institute (2002). His last movie, made in 1990, three years before his death, was La voce della luna (The Voice of the Moon). He was having trouble raising the funds for the movie and made a commercial for an Italian bank. The woman in the commercial bore a striking resemblance to his last lover, Rosita Steenbeek, a young Dutch actress. This period, leading to the end of his Felliniâ€™s life is the story being told in DIRECTOR’S CUT.
This debut novel is the memoir of a newspaper and the story of the people who work there. Formatted in much the same way as OLIVE KITTERIDGE, each chapter can stand on its own as a short story about one of the newspaper’s employees. Each chapter fits well into the whole and provides insight into the chapters that follow. Interspersed between the chapters about employees’ lives outside their time at the newspaper, is another story, the history of the newspaper itself and of the characters that both create and dismantle it. Tom Rachman writes with a sharp eye and a cunning wit. Often the chapters end with a sharp turn of events or a huge surprise. Because his writing is top-notch, I was surprised that this is a debut novel.