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Book Review: Chuckerman Makes a Movie

Chuckerman Makes a Movie. Francie Arenson Dickman. She Writes Press, October 9, 2018, Trade Paperback and E-book, 256 pages. 

Reviewed by Christine Cacciatore.

Nieces and nephews can sure come up with some funny ideas, but telling their uncle that he’s hit rock bottom is one of the funniest things ever, even after he’s given them each $5. After all, the only ones who tell the truth are drunks and children.

Chuckerman Makes a Movie grips you within the first few pages and doesn’t let up as it takes you on a magic ride. David Melman, the main character, decides to listen to his sister and takes a film-writing class. Once he’s in the class, he’s urged by Laurel, the woman teaching the class, to write about the Cadillac he inherited from his grandfather.

One thing I loved about this book is that it’s told through the class he’s taking. The descriptions of people and David’s experiences are spot-on and luxurious to read. Normally one to flip pages faster and faster as I read, I found myself slowing way down and even rereading passages so that I could absorb a little more of the author’s writing.

I’m a huge fan of a story within a story as well, and I found it something that Ms. Dickman did quite well. I was able to follow and enjoy both stories with no problem. 

Her character development is wonderful, and there are some scenes within this novel that will make you laugh out loud; it’s that funny. I also enjoyed how she paced her story, something that not too many authors seem to get exactly right, but Ms. Dickman has her finger on the pulse of what works and what does not. Her dialogue is spot-on as well. I could easily see this being made into a movie; I have a few ideas for the cast but I’ll keep that quiet and let the readers judge for themselves.

I enjoyed the part about the Yom Kippur dinner; it reminded me of one of the Seders I got to go to.

Women will enjoy this book for the love story and witty dialogue, and men for the same reasons, plus, there’s a Cadillac. 

I also really enjoyed reading the story of Slip and Estelle, David Melman’s grandparents. It brings realism to his story that I truly loved. 

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. This author needs to write faster, and I will be on the lookout for her next masterpiece.


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