"The Color of Light" by William Goldman
Have you heard of William Goldman? Probably not. He stopped writing novels around 1985, and since then he has been writing screenplays for movies. Both the Princess Bride and Marathon Man were based on screenplays he wrote.
The dust jacket of this book led me to believe that The Color of Light was a mystery novel, which turns out not to be the case. It is, instead, a rather serious piece of literature, written by a man who was probably growing very frustrated with the process of writing books.
The Color of Light follows the early years of Chub Fuller, a young man who decides that writing is his passion. An early success with a book of short stories proves too much for him, however, and instead of rocketing to stardom he finds himself sinking into a quicksand of self-pity and substance abuse. The dust jacket adds "a murder" to this list of troubles, but for some reason I couldn't locate a single murder within the plot.
I liked the dialogue in this book, and it never bored me. All of the characters were interesting, and there was nothing in the story that struck me as unrealistic or pretentious. I cannot stand authors who try to draw morals out of their stories, and Mr. Goldman never does that. Even though the plot resembles countless other books, the situations found therein are often unique and their reactions to what they encounter seem genuine.
I'd give this book 9 stars out of 10. It's worth seeking out.