White powder, green light

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Jonathan Cape, Oct 3, 2002 - Fiction - 326 pages
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In Soho Paul Salmon, co-producer of the ghastly Britpack Russian Mafia caper Base Metal, is busy chasing his next project, schmoozing It-girls and not taking cocaine. In Pontypool, Dr Jane Feverfew is busy wooing her ludicrous students, fighting her leek-carrying ex and wondering what the hell made her come to a country where she can't even spell the name of her son's school. In Cardiff, the Welsh cultural mafia are busy quaffing Australian cava at the annual Cymru-Wales Oscwr ceremony as they plan the disposal of next year's EU grants...Jane hasn't had sex for two years, but there are the same number of passable single men over thirty in Wales as anywhere else: that is, none. Her only excitement in life is a coy e-flirtation. But when she despairingly posts her mock-screenplay of a Spanish classic on the ResistYoof.com website (just to show the sort of crap that Yoof likes) Paul Salmon happens upon it in a moment of coke-fuelled desperation...Salmon lies, cheats and grovels to get the film Green Lighted as a Welsh epic, while also turning his lustful attentions onto Jane -who unleashes her secret, lifelong ambition to be a cheerleader or actress, not a bluestocking. As crossed wires, bad faith and wild ambition pile up, Jane dives blithely into the White Powder desert of actors, agents and WI clubs, where old friends count for nothing, new ones count for less and the big, bad mother of all come-downs is waiting just around the next comer.As Soho is annihilated in a fire storm of drugs, extra virgin oil and fennel, Jane comes to her senses too late -or at least, too late for salvation to come from any but the most unlikely of quarters...James Hawes's fourth novel takes his not-quite- innocent heroine on a wildly comic journey from the eccentricities of Wales into the unholy Soho movie-world which he came to know whilst co-producing the notoriously disastrous film version of his second bestseller, Rancid Aluminium.

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