Charlotte Street

Charlotte Street - Danny Wallace Can I just say how much fun it is to be in Danny Wallace's head again? Even when he's pretending to be someone else, he's delightful.Wallace's protagonist is Jason Priestley. (No, not that one.) One day on Charlotte Street he sees a woman struggling with packages as she gets into a taxicab. A quick offer of help and Jason is smitten. At the end of the brief encounter, he finds he has accidentally kept one of her things, a disposable camera.The plot of Charlotte Street is remarkably like his non-fiction. Jason's 'stupid boy project' involves trying to track this girl down using the very pictures he wants to return to her. Wallace walks a fine line with his plot, but he's good enough to hang a lantern on the fact that Jason's behaviour is vaguely invasive. The characters use the term "stalking", but unlike most stalkers Jason doesn't imagine a relationship with the girl that doesn't exist. He's aware of the questionability of his behaviour and knows perfectly well he may find this girl only to be told to bugger off.The title of the book indicates that Wallace intended Charlotte Street to be a definitive part of the story, but as someone whose never been to Charlotte Street (and has only occasionally been to London) I was left with the feeling that I was missing something.I admit to a vague disappointment while reading this volume that the events inside it never happened, but I realize how ridiculous a demand that is. Join Me and Yes Man were delightful "stupid boy projects", but if he were to keep up such activities, it would mean he would have less time to write.Therefore, I can only look forward to his next piece of fiction.This review also appears at Boxes of Paper