by Rachel Popa
“All the Lasting Things” by David Hopson is a novel that encompasses many themes, but mostly it is a novel about fame and its tendency to be fleeting.
The story begins with Benji Fisher, a washed-up child star playing the part of Hamlet’s uncle in a production of “Hamlet.” Disorientated and drunk, Benji falls down a cliff on his way home from rehearsal in an apparent suicide attempt.
Benji’s family is then tasked with figuring out who is going to take care of him while he is injured.
It is decided that Benji will stay with Cat, the actress playing Ophelia in “Hamlet.” Cat falls in love with Benji despite there being a considerable age difference between the two. Cat also overshadows Benji with her acting prowess, having the chance to perform on Broadway.
However, Benji’s past fame and Cat’s impending fame give the couple a certain harmony, which reflects back to the theme of the novel.
Also included in the book are Benji’s father, a fading Pulitzer prize-winning novelist with Alzheimer’s, as well as his nephew, a Grammy-winning cellist. While Benji desperately holds on to the fame he has left, his father holds off publishing his swan song novel until after he has passed, and Benji’s nephew wants to take a break from the cello and write music of his own.
“All the Lasting Things” is a gorgeously written and thought-provoking debut by Hopson. While much of the book revolves around fame, it is at its center a story about deep family ties and their importance.
four out of five torches