An innocent joke takes a raucous turn in Emmy-winning television and comedy writer David Quantick’s latest novel, All My Colors.
Todd Milstead is at a turning point in 1979. His wife, Janis, has had enough of his wisecracks, incompetence and affairs. When she leaves, Todd must support himself by actually publishing something instead of just acting like a writer. It just so happens that at a Saturday night gathering, Todd is showing off his eidetic memory by reciting lines from a successful novel titled All My Colors—but no one else at the party knows this novel. In fact, it doesn’t seem to exist. So Todd decides to write this book as if it were his own, but his disturbing (albeit funny) encounters with similarly plagiarizing storytellers bring devastating results.
Quantick brings his TV prowess to his third novel through its episodic pacing, dark humor and satirical reflections on story crafting. The novel excels in scenes like Todd’s book signings in small towns and his run-in with other authors at a mysterious library in Michigan. In between these episodes, the narration moves quickly and succinctly. The tone is sarcastic and biting as details of Todd’s shenanigans reveal the underbelly of his deception. Todd and fellow bibliophiles, like bookstore owner Timothy who calls himself “an old fraud,” make fun of themselves. Todd is a “bad copier,” a caricature of himself. But behind the hoaxes and hijinks, these clowns and other characters pose serious, timely questions about what happens when stories are told. How does a writer change by writing his story? Can fiction become more truthful than fact?
Part mystery, part fantasy, All My Colors’ rainbow of sensations won’t leave readers unfazed.