Tuesday, February 17, 2009

"Jack London in Paradise"

Paul Malmont is a Copy Director at an interactive advertising agency in New York. He has written for the Cartoon Network, VH1.com, Pfizer, Ricoh, Microsoft and a host of other corporate clients. His work has also won awards from Communication Arts and The One Show, and has been included in Time Magazine’s “Best of…”

Malmont’s short film, The King of the Magicians, was a commendation winner at the UK Festival of Fantastic Films and premiered at the Los Angeles International Film Festival.

He applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, Jack London in Paradise, and reported the following:
A casual reader attracted by my book’s catchy title, attractive cover, glowing reviews on the back, and prominent placement on the New Fiction table might flip to page 69 and express their reaction this way. “WTF!”

The whole page is full of italics except for weird headers like “His Mother’s Warning: Beware Crossing the Italian for Fear of the Evil Eye” and “Jack Meets the White Light.” These are little capsule vignettes about a boy named Jack. What is going on?

Let me try to explain what’s happening on page 69 of Jack London in Paradise in one simple sentence: It’s 1915 and Hobart Bosworth, a filmmaker, is desperate for another Jack London movie hit to secure his fortunes in Hollywood but his relationship with the famous author has soured over money issues so Bosworth is trying to track London down and by this scene is on a ship crossing the Pacific to Hawaii where London and his wife have gone into retreat and while Hobart is on this journey I’m parceling out little bits about London’s remarkable life and adventures in different ways so that information is conveyed dramatically and one of the ways we do this is have Bosworth projecting one of his silent London pictures, John Barleycorn, on a sail of the becalmed ship and what is shown is some important scenes from the movie and Jack London’s life.

Here are things about the book a reader unfortunately won’t get from page 69: the adventure of crossing the Pacific, the shark hunt, the passionate love between Jack and Charmian London, Duke Kahanamoku’s legendary minute-and-a-half long run down Waikiki bay, drug and alcohol abuse, sex, and the destructive power of the imagination set in an amazing period of Hawaiian history. So if said reader does pick it up, why not skip page 69 and go right to page 1? Then page 69 will make complete sense when it finally arrives.
Read an excerpt from Jack London in Paradise, and learn more about the book and author at Paul Malmont's website and blog.

Check out the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue