For any literary nerd, dreaming about fictional books from TV, movies, and other books is totally decadent. You get to imagine what captivating stories their creators would have written (and you don't have to feel guilty for not getting around to reading them yet, because, hey, they don't actually exist). But alas, the joy of fictional books is a double-edged sword. Like the false rumor that someone brought cupcakes into the office, these books will remain forever out of your grasp.
Even though Hannah Horvath's memoir will forever remain a work of art in my mind due to its unknowable mystery, I can still think about it, right? If nothing else, imagine what kind of the light fictional books could shed on their authors if we could get a hold of them. For example, does Carrie Bradshaw ever explain why she tolerated Big, perhaps in MEN-Hattan? 'Cause that'd be really satisfying to read.
For me, the best part of seeing a fictional book take shape is getting a look at the writing process. Do all writers secretly take an ersatz version of Adderall, like Pete Tarslaw in How I Became a Famous Novelist, and hole up in a remote shack until the book is long enough? I mean, there are worse ideas. Just sayin'.
Here's a look at some other fictional works that I'm sure would have become best sellers. If only I could get my hands on these...
The Descent From The Affair
Noah Solloway decides to set his second novel in Montauk after getting a bit too involved with the locals in The Affair. By basing his book on local politics and the dynamic between summer visitors and locals, he ends up with what later appears to be a best seller — one that I would love to read. Anyone who's ever read The Beach House by James Patterson knows that books about locals in a resort town fleecing the wealthy visitors by selling them, among other things, $6 jars of jam makes for a good read.
Amazing From Gone Girl
As a reader, you experience a lot of flip-flopping when it comes to Amy's literary voice, between her peppy fake self who's goal is to deceive the reader and her true self who delivered us the classic cool girl passage, to which I say: amen. I would like to think Amy's memoir, Amazing, would be a blend of the two. She obviously can't reveal the extent of her sociopathy by being completely truthful, but hopefully some of her sharp commentary on gender roles would have made it into this book, which would go on to be read by a huge audience.
Unnamed Novel From The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P
Being privy to Nate Piven's innermost thoughts left me feeling conflicted. On one hand, he seems a lot like a nice guy you could have dated. On the other, imagine having your worst fears about what your boyfriend secretly thinks of you confirmed. It comes as a relief to find out that Nate's novel, which is somewhat autobiographical, focuses on his fictional parents rather than him as he originally intended. Nate had the foresight to restructure his novel when it became clear that his protagonist wasn't worth the story. The way Nate is regarded in his group of writer-friends, shown through certain subtle cues from the author, tell us that his writing is respected, making his impending novel a must-read.
The Tornado Ashes Club From How I Became a Famous Novelist
Steve Hely's satire of the publishing industry literally reads as a manual of how to write a best seller. By browsing through a bookstore and consulting the list of current bestsellers, Pete Tarslaw decides to combine elements from all of them resulting in The Tornado Ashes Club, a novel which is designed to sound like the worst combination of literary tropes imaginable in order to gain the prominent display at airports that only comes with the highest of mass-market literary success — and to impress his ex-girlfriend of course. As terrible as it sounds, I wouldn't mind reading this novel on an airplane.
MEN-hattan From Sex and the City
Calling her third book Manhattan just wasn't on-the-nose enough for Carrie Bradshaw. Her take on the males of Manhattan was written sometime between the end of the TV series and the first movie. As grating as Carrie's observations on men and dating can be, especially considering her inability to arrive at a romantic partnership that she's happy with after 10 years, even, her musings about love are familiar, enjoyable, and also her pun game is clearly still on point.
This Time From Before Sunset
In the second installment of the Before Sunrise trilogy we find out that Jesse has written a novel about his experiences with Celine in Before Sunrise. After reuniting with her at his book-signing in Paris, they replicate their earlier meandering walking and talking routine, where it comes out that Jesse wrote his novel partially in the hopes of getting enough publicity to draw Celine's attention so they could finally meet again. This sounds like Nicholas Sparks level dedication, resulting in a romance novel that I need to read.
Hannah Horvath's Essay Collection From Girls
Many have speculated on the untold contents of Hannah Horvath's actual body of work. Is it amazing enough to afford her the opportunities she's gotten? Is it delightfully terrible? There have been subtle indicators to support both theories: an essay on trying cocaine that was so amazing she scored an advertorial job at GQ and a book deal, but on the other hand, a scathing review of her first fiction story at her MFA workshop. I tend to keep the faith by believing that Hannah is ultimately a great, if yet unformed, writer. Lena Dunham often points out how different Hannah is meant to be from her, so I won't make the perfunctory comparison to Not That Kind of Girl . We'll just have to accept that we can never know what Hannah's writing is made of. Just kidding. Please God just give us one little Kindle Single written by Hannah Horvath.
Waverly Prep From Young Adult
Mavis is writing the last installment of the Waverly Prep YA series. By eavesdropping on teenagers and combining their parlance with her uniquely immature outlook, she's able to do this one thing in her shambles of a life really well, which is accurately portray the narcissism of teenagers. Despite Mavis's hateful personality, I would like to read her work, after all, not all artists need to be likable.
Help From The Help
You've read The Help, and probably watched the movie, too. But what you can never access is the actual compilation of essays the book centers around, simply titled Help. Like any good essay compilation, this one is described as containing opposing viewpoints on the experience of being a maid in Mississippi in the 1960s. Some of the women had positive experiences with their employers, who treated them like family, while others were treated horribly and unfairly. Aibileen's story is of particular interest, as we leave her considering the prospect of becoming a writer.
Unnamed Novel From Love Actually
When Jamie first meets Aurelia, he's on a writing retreat to get away from his cheating ex-wife. Aurelia entrances him as he writes his novel which we learn through process of elimination is not a romance, tragedy, or comedy — but rather a crime novel. Jamie doesn't have kind words to say about his own work, calling his writing frighteningly bad at times, but how could a book inspired by the love between Jamie and Aurelia, arguably the best Love Actually couple, be anything short of amazing? Unfortunately, the only copy of this novel blew into the water, and that is the only reason we cannot read it today.
Hogwarts: A History From Harry Potter
Why can't you apparate inside Hogwarts' grounds, and other questions that can be answered by reading this anthology of Hogwarts lore. The explanation for wanting to read this chronicle of Hogwarts' origin and rules is simple: Harry Potter withdrawal is a real affliction. Plus, being able to counter Hermione's constant factoids with your own know-it-all retorts would be a skill worth having.
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