Title: Charlotte Street
Author: Danny Wallace
Review: There is a fine line between actively pursuing the woman of your dreams and being a stalker. Danny Wallace digs into this subject with the humorous tale of Jason, the emotionally lost journalist who with a little help from his friends manages to find his way to happiness. While his professional prospects are down and his ex girlfriend is announcing her engagement, poor Jason is eating a terrible breakfast at a local café when he sees her. A beautiful girl struggling with her packages as she tries to get into a taxi. Jumping to his feet he helps her on her way, only to find he has her disposable camera.
Thus begins Jason’s journey to find this girl, initially just to return her camera, but then for a longing he can’t quite understand himself. What I like best was the police procedural aspect of the plot. The first step in finding the girl is to develop the pictures on the camera, twelve quick snapshots into someone’s life as the only clues in finding them. Like any good police detective, Jason with the help of his friends, both old and new, begins to paint a picture of his perfect woman through the photos, visiting the scene of the crimes. Ultimately he is able to put it all together to solve the mystery, to reunite with the object of his affection.
With a large dose of dry British humor, a lovable cast of characters, and a sense of sincere earnestness, Danny Wallace delivers the beautiful side of stalking. The book does read like a premade romcom script, but if you love that genre of movie as much as me, it is just the icing on the cake (you can spend time imagining the cast). You won’t regret visiting Charlotte Street.
Publisher: Expected publication: October 23rd 2012 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published June 26th 2012)
Quick Review: 4 Stars out of 5
Why I Read It: Romcom set in my hometown of London
Where I Obtained the Book: Sent to me by the publisher for review. TLC Book Tours
Synopsis: Jason Priestley (not that one) has just seen her. They shared an incredible, brief, fleeting moment of deep possibility, somewhere halfway down Charlotte Street.
And then, just like that, she was gone - accidentally leaving him holding her old-fashioned, disposable camera, chock full of undeveloped photos...
And now Jason - ex-teacher, ex-boyfriend, part-time writer and reluctant hero - faces a dilemma. Should he try and track The Girl down? What if she's The One? But that would mean using the only clues he has, which lie untouched in this tatty disposable...
It's funny how things can develop...
Author Biography: Daniel Frederick Wallace is a British filmmaker, comedian, writer, actor, and presenter of radio and television. His notable works include the books Join Me, Yes Man, and the TV series How to Start Your Own Country. As an author, Wallace's bestselling books have been translated into more than a dozen languages.
He began writing reviews for video game magazines at the age of 13 for school work experience: a reviewer had become ill and so Wallace was given the opportunity to review a game. At 18 he started writing comedy, mainly through the magazine Comedy Review. He specialised in radio production at the University of Westminster.
At 22, he became a BBC producer. He was part of the production team behind British Comedy Award-winning Dead Ringers, the original producer of the critically acclaimed cult hit The Mighty Boosh, and the creator and producer of Ross Noble Goes Global. As a journalist, Wallace has worked for The Scotsman, The Guardian, The Independent, Elle, Cosmo, The Times and other publications.
In 1999, Wallace challenged comedian Dave Gorman, who at the time was his flatmate, to find 54 other people called Dave Gorman ("one for every card in the deck, including the Jokers"). Wallace accompanied Gorman on his quest and the men created Are You Dave Gorman?, an award-winning comedy stage show about what happened during their journey. A BBC series, also co-written and co-produced by Wallace, followed, as did a book, written by both men.
In 2003, Wallace's book Join Me was published. The book explains how he "accidentally started a 'cult'" called Join Me. The movement would go global, with each member committing to undertaking one random act of kindness for a stranger every Friday ("Good Fridays"). Tens of thousands joined. Join Me celebrates "Karmageddon 10" in December 2011. Traditionally, hundreds of members travel to London for the meet-up and undertake good deeds for strangers, with Wallace present. The movement is now generally referred to as the "Karma Army", although members are still typically "Joinees". He became a minor celebrity in Belgium whilst on his quest for Joinees. While on a book tour through America, Wallace was dubbed a "Generation X legend" by the Wisconsin State Journal.
Wallace next wrote a short book called Random Acts of Kindness: 365 Ways To Make the World A Better Place, with the help of submissions from Joinees. It includes many humorous Random Acts of Kindness (RAoK) ideas, such as "Contradict Demeaning Graffiti", and "Make An Old Man Very Happy."
Wallace's second solo book, Yes Man was published in July 2005. In it, he describes how he spent six months "saying Yes where once I would have said No", to make his life more interesting and positive. In this book he shows the tribulations and mischief that he got up to while he said yes to any question or proposal. The book was described as "one of those rare books that actually has the potential to change your life" by the San Francisco Bay Guardian and as "a fascinating book and a fascinating experiment" by David Letterman. A film adaptation of Yes Man was developed with Warner Bros. and stars Jim Carrey and Zooey Deschanel. It was released in 2008 in the US and the UK. Wallace appeared on screen in a cameo in a bar scene in the last ten minutes of the film, holding a British pint glass.
Danny Wallace and the Centre of the Universe was published in 2006. It is linked with World Book Day which in 2006 was on Thursday 2 March. It tells the story of Wallace's trip to Idaho, to visit a manhole cover in a small town, whose residents have proclaimed it the centre of the universe. The cover identifies it as a "Quick Read"; the price and length of the book have been curbed in order to encourage people who may not often read books to purchase it.
Wallace's book, Friends Like These, was released on the 3 July 2008, and tells the story of how he spent a summer trying to track down his old school friends from his days in Dundee,