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Its literate but is it literatureOnly in AmericaDominic HollandFame 1099 pp250Miracle at SantAnnaJames McBrideSceptre 1499 pp277Everything is IlluminatedJonathan Safran FoerHamish Hamilton 1499 pp288It is unusual for me to choose commercial contenders for this column rather than books with more literary ambitions but one thing Ive never lost in years of reviewing is the pleasure of reading Two of this months books are little more than entertainments but they do entertain So does the third which would certainly be called literary meaning that it succeeds in entertaining on a number of levels Only in America by Dominic Holland is a farce the kind of story where you know right from the beginning how it will come out the pleasure being in how cleverly the happy end can be contrived for greatest happiness and protraction of ingenious complications preventing itJuliet Millhouse aka Milly modest beauty and aspiring screenwriter works as a receptionist at a posh hotel frequented by businesspeople and stars including Hollywood producers Having got an agent on the strength of winning a screenwriting competition she now cant get him to read her second script or even speak to herMeanwhile monster studio mogul Willenheim is looking for his next hit which he finds when in a move copied from The Importance of Being Earnest Millys script gets mixed up with those from Willenheims development departmentOf course the development department headed by former child star Mitch Carmichael doesnt know the script from Adam The search is on Mitch eventually staying in Millys hotel searching for what is under his nose and Milly assisting him not knowing any more than he does about the mysterious author since he doesnt mention the nameThe Americans often speak in an inadvertently British idiom but if the moguls talk about sacking someone rather than firing them British audiences are unlikely to notice and Americans will just think them unusually classy for Hollywood Miracle at SantAnna by James McBride is almost a period-type
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