Friday, March 19, 2010
Amazon Product Description. Set in Croydon, South London, in the 1980s, Admit One details how self-deprecating writer Emmett James escaped from the pains of adolescence by going to the cinema. Through wry wit and observation, the writer reflects, obsesses, and rages about film and its correlation to our pasts. Life soon imitates art, and the narrator finds that his true calling is in transcendence from one side of the screen to the other. He decides to leave England for the only place where he can realize his dream of becoming an actor--Hollywood.
We follow the narrator on his numerous adventures: as he jumps from forgery to pornography to crashing the Academy Awards under the alias of a nominated writer. All the while, the films that inspired each tale contextualize this humorous collection of stories. The narrator ultimately provides a unique insight into the fascinating industry of film, eventually himself stumbling into the biggest box-office grossing film of all time.
Review. Growing up on the bleak streets of Croydon, England in the 1970-80’s, memoirist Emmett James escapes for a few hours through the movies shown at the local theatre. The first part of the book is devoted to James’ boyhood cinematic recollections. In each chapter of Admit One, James weaves a humorous story about a particular movie’s impact on his life. For example, James recounts how Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom led to his archeological digging phase in the family’s backyard; E.T. created a BMX frenzy in the local neighborhood; and his mother’s resemblance to the Witch in the Wizard of Oz enabled her to scare the daylights out of some bullies.
Later an adult James realizes that movies could provide him a lifetime of escape in career as a working actor. Soon James migrates to California and learns the joys and indignities of a life in film. In this second part of the memoir, James regales readers with tales of life as a human cattle also known as an extra; working on a porn film; landing his Screen Actor’s Guild card by running around in his underwear; and paying the bills by doctoring photos for tabloids. Ultimately, James arrives as an actor with a part in the mega-blockbuster Titanic.
James aptly describes his life’s journey as germinating in the darkened walls of the Croydon theatre:
The little golden tickets I was presented with each and every weekend at the cinema doors in Croydon by the decrepit ticket collector Stubby had been a clear indicator of my destiny. . . .
Admit One the ticket would read.
Admit One into this cinematic fantasy world
Whether James is holding court with the highs or lows of his life in film, Admit One is always entertaining!
Publisher: FizzyPop (February 1, 2010), 216 pages.
Advance review copy provided courtesy of the publisher and the publicist.