Well the page 99 test was created by Ford Maddox Ford as a way to test the quality of a book you may want to read. Apparently page 99 is the point in the book where the author should have hit their stride and hopefully we’re not so far in we hit spoilers.
For Josh Harper, being in show-business means money, fame, a beautiful wife, and a lead role on the London stage. For Stephen C. McQueen, it means a disastrous career playing passers-by and dead people.
Stephen’s stuck with an unfortunate name, a hopeless agent, a daughter he barely knows, and a job as understudy to Josh Harper, the 12th sexiest man in the world. And when Stephen falls in love with Josh’s clever, funny wife Nora, things get even more difficult.
But might there be a way for Stephen to get his Big Break?
“The first thing Stephen saw when he cranked open his eyes on Monday morning was the man’s face on the pillow next to him. Classically handsome, a little like Josh Harper’s – flat-nosed and strong-jawed, and framed with short, curly Renaissance Prince hair, it stared back impassively at Stephen with its one unseeing eye, perched upright on a marble block pedestal, engraved with the words ‘Best Actor 2000’.”
Okay, so let’s start with the synopsis: The blurb is what drew me to this book, well the blurb and the title. I was looking for books in my local charity shops (cheap and for a good cause, don’t be so “Oh! I couldn’t possibly read a second hand book!” just do it, you’re helping people/animals, it’s so worth it) and spotted this so I bought it. Anyway, back on topic. It’s the sort of book I enjoy, with acting at the heart of it (I love books featuring performing arts) and so I grabbed it from the shop... and never read it. I’m really good at doing that but hey ho!
The cover: Now I find the cover to be very plain, very simple, but I suppose that what I have to remember is that ‘The Understudy’ is an adult book and adults are drawn to different things. I was drawn in by the shiny star. I mean it’s a star and it’s shiny, have I mentioned that I like shiny things? Other than the shiny star I really don’t have much to say about it. It’s just a plain(ish) cover. Saying that it does still get its point across enough to make people buy it. It’s the shiny star I tell you!
The paragraph: The paragraph is amusing!! I have to admit I read it was like “WHA-?” I instantly wanted to know more about what was happening. I think that it’s definitely enough to draw me into reading the book (which is a good thing considering it’s quite close to the top of my TBR) and has really intrigued me. The bottom of the page explains this paragraph but I’m just going to leave you all to wonder. It’s more fun for me that way. After reading this page I’m definitely looking forward to finally getting to this.
What do you guys think of the sound of The Understudy?
Let me know in the comments!