As in Swimming to Cambodia, this is one man and his mouth, given free range; and again, against all odds, it's riveting. Here, Gray addresses the intimate business of writing a novel. Or not writing it. The opus in question - a huge, unwieldy chunk of his life, and the monster of the title - sits reproachfully on the table throughout, as Gray tells how he set out to write it in an attempt to exorcise the trauma of his mother's death. Gray's mastery of the art of digression is so compelling that the trimmings added by Broomfield are almost superfluous. Gray himself provides plenty to look at - the unearthly glow of his hair, his regrettable choice of shirt, those mystifyingly shaped eyebrows, and a repertoire of hand signals that makes it quite clear why he found it so hard to sit down and type. Whether you'd want to be stuck in a railway carriage with him is another matter, but on screen he is - as they say - unputdownable.
You may also like