This rather unusual read is a fictional account of a lost film or a film that never existed according to the hype in the book called The Cornfield People (aka Operation D-minor and The Phantom), which is about the secret of life and broadly speaking about the secrets held by a cult of near death survivors who will do anything to protect their cult and the secret they know.
When one of their own flees them and tries to give this secret to a journalist at a Paranormal magazine, Joe Fischer, the journalist in question must jump through a series of hoops to find validity in this bizarre tale and get to the bottom of this secret in order to write his expose.
Written as a scene by scene account of this mysterious film and annotated with editorialized footnotes (which incidentally don’t work very well on Kindle as the author has not taken advantage of the Word Wise feature to aid readers by simplifying the text) from various legendary filmmakers, like Ridley Scott and Tarantino, this is one hell of a read for film enthusiasts and though I would never describe myself as a film enthusiast I did get swept away by the mystery contained in this elusive novel. I have never read a book from this author before but I found A Book About A Film, an original, if not unusual read.
However, as much as I enjoyed it the lack of formatting on ereader and the frequent typos made this probably the most difficult ebook I have read to date
Got any books released after the 1980s on your bookshelf? Maybe something by Stephen King? Jack Ketchum? George R. R. Martin? Of course you do. Go ahead and grab one, and take a look either on the back cover or the first couple of pages. Odds are, there will be an excerpt from Kirkus Reviews. Well, they had a chance to read A Book About a Film and had some pretty nice things say. Read the full review below, and stay tuned for more as September 8th approaches.
Schultz’s (Jill, 2012, etc.) novel looks at the apocrypha surrounding an infamous lost film.
In this metafictional work, a fictionalized version of the author describes a film that he claims is real, although he acknowledges that many people believe it to be an urban legend. At the same time, he attempts to publish this account with a fictional publisher. If the plot sounds tangled, that’s sort of the point, as this novel is set in the underground world of rare, lost, and legendary independent films, where the smoke and mirrors surrounding a movie can prove more deceptive than those used to make it. The film, known as The Cornfield People, among other titles, is a low-budget neo-noir shot between 1999 and 2001. It follows a journalist at a paranormal publication investigating the eponymous secret society, which is willing to go to great lengths to protect their esoteric knowledge of life and death. The book opens with a foreword explaining that this book is actually the second edition of A Book About a Film, the first having been so explosive that the publisher was forced to redact it, due to an apparent shadowy conspiracy working to keep all knowledge of the film from the public. Even so, “there are still many out there who object to this version as well, as they believe what is reported in these texts are a threat to everyone,” says the foreword’s author. Schultz then offers an annotated, scene-by-scene account of the film, along with supplementary materials; the texts become progressively more sinister as the film’s plot begins to bleed into events of the “real” world. Overall, the novel’s conceit is rather ingenious. However, the author unfortunately gets in his own way when it comes to its execution. The story’s tension is undercut by its jocular tone, and the author isn’t enough of a skilled ventriloquist to successfully mimic the array of critics and film experts whose quotes populate the text. Additionally, the film at the center of book simply isn’t persuasive enough to support all the marginalia. Although this book is fun at times, readers will be left wishing that it had just a bit more polish.
A story with a great premise that never quite takes flight.
C.W. Schultz is a brilliant author. Or is he? Writing a book about a film about Joe Fisher’s experience while investigating the Cornfield People, a secret society that knows the meaning of life and what comes after death, calls for a medal of bravery or dare I say it aloud, a badge of stupidity. There are many out there who believe that anything written about this subject is a threat and even those interviewed advised not to release the book due to safety issues. Because of this, I am not really the reviewer/author named Joanie Chevalier. I don’t want my life threatened in any way; I love my life. Therefore, I hacked into Ms. Chevalier’s computer and I shall remain anonymous. This is all I care to say on this subject.
Just like the man on camera, I too, enjoy an apple martini every now and then and now I have the knowledge of things that are better left unknown. But is this a gift or a curse? Just like any good reviewer, I analyzed the research given about the Cornfield People and noticed that some called it a cult. Cults are scary and while I appreciate the fact that the author couldn’t get his book properly edited out of fear, it is a crime to subject readers to the kind of erRors we were burdened with. That, and the hundreds of footnotes which were reminiscent of expensive heavy college textbooks.
The author dared to state his opinion in Fn. 98 [or was it Fn. 96?] that Cornfield Persons are clowns. Reading in context, the author wrote, “these Cornfield Persons look like a bunch of clowns.” I respectfully write this in quotations so that certain persons would know it was not me who originally dare write these words down on paper. However, coming to the defense of C.W. Schultz, I concluded from the author’s other remarks that this was probably a cover up for his true fear. Writing about red-herrings is probably a cover up too, with Mr. C.W. Schultz presenting us with a “journal,” a silly “song,” and a “word search” (email me if you too find the phrase “Cornfield People are Clowns” diagonally and backwards in the red herring word search).
The Cornfield People are a proud society and was formed over a hundred years ago. I dare you to google who was alive back then; you may be surprised. Read the book. See for yourself. Find the answer to the question: Is it possible to hang yourself with a coat hanger? Only C.W. Schultz can bring that answer to light as he courageously researches and writes, A Book About A Film. I commend you Mr. C.W. Schultz. Thank you for giving me more questions than answers.
Fn. 56 [Note: Footnotes 1 through 55 must NOT be read by the public.] The day after I finished the book, I noticed a suspicious looking man dressed in a burlap sack (I just thought he was homeless, sorry) eagerly looking over my shoulder as I was typing the review during my lunch break while sitting on a bench at the park. The next day I found a sheet of paper under my windshield. All it had were five symbols, drawn in red crayon: stars. I took this to mean only one thing – to rate this book 5 stars . . . or else. I rest my case. Fade to Black.
See the author’s website for more information: Cornfield People
TowerBabel, the place to go to “fall in love with books”, will include Schultz’s debut novel Yeval as a Featured Book later this month. Georgina Parfitt has given the book a ★★★★ (out of five) review. If you enjoy browsing for books, reading reviews, or posting your own opinions, please make sure to check out TowerBabel.
A disturbing but gripping internal monologue
There’s something very alive and vivid about this set of messed-up characters. Randy as a narrator is, necessarily, almost completely unreliable, as he is bullied and tormented by a figure in his mind called Yeval, who Randy describes as being created by his own guilt over the death of his mother.
Randy’s voice jerks and despairs as his reality becomes less and less stable over the course of the novel. This lends a suspenseful and unpredictable mood to it. The angry eruptions of the narrative voice make the reading experience feel dangerous but quick-moving. At times I felt I needed a less chaotic way through, from one event to the next, but I appreciated the author’s commitment to the scattered, often terrifying, movement of his main character’s psyche.
Some of this story is deeply unsettling, and that’s a necessary evil of its subject matter, but I was impressed with how tender and warm the narrative was able to get between the angrier episodes. Randy’s brother, the love of his life Caroline, and his late mother are all at various times conjured with extreme affection. I think this aspect of the novel is almost the most important; it’s the humanity and sympathy of these sections that propels the reader on, and inspires her to seek to understand even the most obscene sections of Randy’s interior monologue.
The writing is best when it doesn’t over explain itself. Moments of profound emotional resonance are possible when the narrator speaks simply and honestly, and when repetition is avoided. ‘“I’m with somebody,” I respond. It feels like a confession,’ Randy tells us when he is reunited with his beloved ex-girlfriend Caroline. Lines like this give us a simple insight into the moment-by-moment emotional journey of this character that is helpful when trying to negotiate his unpredictable actions.
The structure of the novel overall is well-paced, and leads the reader deeper and deeper into the internal danger of Randy’s mind. Just as the mystery of Slayer and Yeval seems to be unwinding, it obscures and convolutes again, and we are left with an indistinct and upsetting ending, but one that feels fitting for this story.
In short, not a comfortable read, but interesting, and highly thought-provoking, with moments of really moving writing.
But it didn’t stop there.
www.cwschultz.com decides a wonderful review of an exciting release warrants enough enthusiasm to finally reveal A Book About a Film’s release date as Tuesday, September 8th, 2015, as well as the front cover!
This should mark the beginning of updates on a project Schultz has been pretty secretive about. Stay tuned as the reveals continue to pile on!
It doesn’t get more meta or self-referential than this. C.W. Schultz’ original and effervescent work A Book About A Film is subversion at its best. It beckons the dream-like quality of Fellini’s masterpiece 8 1/2 with a touch of Grey Gardens. It’s like that great movie M. Night Shyamalan has yet to make.
I absolutely do not want to spoil the narrative for any prospective readers. I will say, however, that Schultz’ uncanny ability to write a work that has an inherent momentum which does not lose any steam is revelatory. I’ve read a lot of books that borrow elements from various genres that attempt to amalgamate them into a piece that will appeal to all demographics. A Book About a Film, however, is heads and shoulders above its subversive predecessors. It maintains the readers interest, utilizing imagery that is both evocative yet easily visualized.
It’s a thriller, a neo-noir and the Blair Witch Project all rolled into one cohesive narrative that held my interest in the palm of its words from start to finish. I was not only riveted by the plot mechanisms that managed to delve into the mentalities of secret society members, in this case, The Cornfield People, but I was also astonished by the authors effortless ability to weave varying styles into one masterpiece so successfully.
Maybe its because I’m a film graduate, or maybe its because I watch a lot of films, but I found A Book About A Film to be the equivalent of that rare director commentary on the DVD of your favorite semi-obscure movie. You’re in awe of the director’s ability to present subtle motifs without exploiting the intricacies of the characters and their flaws. Schultz is destined for greatness, and A Book About a Film is a book about life – the kind of life that is real, gritty, and dark.
A Book About A Film will be released in September 2015. I will write another post to remind you all to be sure to pick up a copy.
— Nick Rossi, Reading Other People
www.cwschultz.com has had another makeover! I think the last time the website was updated was back in September 2012 in preparation for the release of Watch and Jill. Well, we’re sticking with the trend of remodeling when an exciting release is approaching, with A Book About a Film coming out sometime in 2015!
Take a stroll through the site and stay tuned for updates on A Book About a Film!
C. W. Schultz’s fourth book A Book About a Film is set to be released in late 2015. Marketing and press releases will be throughout the year.
An academic study on the cult classic The Cornfield People, A Book About a Film not only acts as a novelization of the movie but also dedicates a great amount of its content to the film’s hidden messages, reoccurring themes and haunting obscurity. Some have called The Cornfield People an incomplete film, while others believe it is a true lost film; however, many believe that the film is banned and have pointed out that sites which attempt to host images or clips from the movie have suspiciously removed the content even though there is no trace of The Cornfield People ever being copyrighted.
Paperback and Kindle editions will be available at the same time, but a hardback release is currently tentative. Due to the book’s unique page layout, paperback is the recommended edition and is expected to have a starting price of $16.99 (likely cheaper), with signed copies and giveaway opportunities within the first few months of release. For more information on giveaways and signed copies, please use the contact form.
For other questions or to discuss Schultz’s upcoming release, please feel free to post in the comment section below.
A Book About a Film is ready for copyediting. One step closer to being complete. Schultz’s fourth book had a few false starts beginning in April 2013, and a rough draft was not completed until July 2014, so this is some exciting news. How about hashtagging #ExtremelyFreakingExcited or #OneStepCloser or simply #ABookAboutAFilm?