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New Harlan Coben Novel Lands an Ackman of Enormous Proportions

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | March 19, 2013 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | March 19, 2013 |

Harlan Coben just published a new novel called 6 Years. It was released this morning and already has a movie based on it pushing into the casting phase. In particular Hugh Jackman has been cast as the lead. There is no writer, no director, no other involvement by anyone in the universe, but by god Paramount gobbled those movie rights up faster than any number of perverse metaphors of particularly licentious classes of individuals. And they put their biggest Ackman right on the project.

Here is the summary of the novel straight from Amazon:

In Six Years, a masterpiece of modern suspense, Harlan Coben explores the depth and passion of lost love…and the secrets and lies at its heart. Six years have passed since Jake Fisher watched Natalie, the love of his life, marry another man. Six years of hiding a broken heart by throwing himself into his career as a college professor. Six years of keeping his promise to leave Natalie alone, and six years of tortured dreams of her life with her new husband, Todd. But six years haven’t come close to extinguishing his feelings, and when Jake comes across Todd’s obituary, he can’t keep himself away from the funeral. There he gets the glimpse of Todd’s wife he’s hoping for…but she is not Natalie. Whoever the mourning widow is, she’s been married to Todd for almost two decades, and with that fact everything Jake thought he knew about the best time of his life—a time he has never gotten over—is turned completely inside out. As Jake searches for the truth, his picture-perfect memories of Natalie begin to unravel. Mutual friends of the couple either can’t be found, or don’t remember Jake. No one has seen Natalie in years. Jake’s search for the woman who broke his heart, who lied to him, soon puts his very life at risk as it dawns on him that the man he has become may be based on a carefully constructed fiction. Harlan Coben once again delivers a shocking page-turner that deftly explores the power of past love, and the secrets and lies that such love can hide.

Oh these are almost as fantastic as the plot descriptions put together by movie studios. “A masterpiece of modern suspense” … yes, I suppose the publisher is an unbiased opinion of such things. And more generally, wouldn’t Liam Neeson be a better fit? He probably still has his lines memorized from Unknown, so they could start filming right away.

Seriously, it’s a pleasure how the quality of stories is all in the telling, how the exact same plot description can be used for brilliant works of towering genius, and terrible books that aren’t even good enough to be beach reads. This book may very well be a pillar of literature, but that plot sounds like something Jack Donaghy is making up off the top of his head for Jenna to star in over the summer. Go read it again, you’ll read it in Alec Baldwin’s voice.

Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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