Readers comments

So postmodern and referential. I delighted in your sources.

Richard Olafson, Editor,  Pacific Rim Review of Books, Victoria, B.C.

With tongue in cheek humor and a sly poke at genre fiction, literary untouchables and the publishing industry this book seems tailor made for smart praise. Even though I wasn’t able to pick out all the literary styles interwoven playfully within the book — and frankly at a certain point I was so into the story it didn’t matter — when I was able to pick up on an author or style it just added to the fun. Very impressed with the versatility of the prose and the ability to coopt all these writers and yet still make it all work within the story being told, a story that holds its own as a larky genre thriller with literary overtones and a lot of humor too. In the end all came off as clever parody.

Especially enjoyed the “genre thriller” kick of the kidnapping and rescue of Ellen mirroring the story within the story within the story. Given the levels of literary byplay and the scope and ambition of the prose styles, the story is amazingly accessible. It even is a bit of a high concept as well — literary high concept (or highwire act) in which, while flawlessly speaking in all these different voices the book still tells a thoroughly enjoyable pulp story about stolen manuscripts and deferred vengeance in the volatile, cutthroat world of publishing. Making publishing a life and death enterprise is a nice conceit that allows all the tropes of detective and spy fiction to come into play and gives it much of its kicky fun.


Paul Duran, film director and writer (Flesh Suitcase and The Dogwalker), Los Angeles

Uncorrected Proof is the title novelist Louisiana Alba uses for his 2008 released novel, exploring themes of plagiarism and influence. The story is set in the publishing industry and following the conflicts and writing life of a writer whose novel is stolen by a celebrity author.

The uncorrected proof is the penultimate version of a literary work or book before final publication [1] [2]. An uncorrected proof is sometimes called a galley proof or an advance reading copy (ARC), and is used for book reviews, sent out by publishers to dedicated journals, newspaper and magazines. Many reviewers prefer, even insist on, seeing the uncorrected proof, not the final printed book.

Alba cites James Joyce’s parodic and myth-based technique in Ulysses by following Homer’s Iliad. But rather than follow the narrative poem itself as Joyce did with Homer’s Odyssey, Alba traces the prequel conditions in Greece before Helen’s flight with Paris to Troy parodying over one hundred modernist and postmodernist writers. Alba's stated aim is to enface a portrait of the artist as a postmodern, reversing Joyce’s attempt at self-effacement from the text of Ulysses.

The wider relevance Alba intended in his use of uncorrected proof in the title of his novel is rooted in his belief that a literary work is not 'bound in' by a cover. In Alba’s view a novel never begins or ends with an individual work, the boundaries of influence and interdependence always crossed, with sources shared consciously and subconsciously between literary works and writers’ imaginations.

Quite an extraordinary work.

Initially the surreal plot threw me then I realised that the plot, the use of various styles and forms, present continuous, film scripts and cooking instructions etc, were creating a particular structure. Eventually, I concluded that it was some sort of a coded book, either intentionally or as some kind of experiment, which I failed to appreciate.

Like most coded works, the book consists of two novels seamlessly interwoven. I have tried this coded thing but I used simple invisible multi-layering as you do when encoding engineering drawings. This form of yours is way beyond that.

This is a very brave new world you have stepped into, or invented, a new realm.

Eric Willmot, author of Pemulwuy and Below The Line, Melbourne

It reads like a splendidly maintained & protracted metafictional elaboration of the climactic shoot-out in the fun-fair corridor of mirrors at the end of Orson Welles's 'Lady from Shanghai'.

Tom Gibbons, painter, writer, academic, Perth

A novel by

Louisiana Alba

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Louisiana Alba has delivered a wildly entertaining indictment of the worlds of fiction and publishing, and in the process has managed to remind us of all the good books and novelists that have existed. Authored as a homage, with heartfelt reverence for the novel, this book is for those who appreciate Joyce, Proust, Nabokov, Kundera, Bukowski, Amis and Homer.

John Ohanessian, writer and filmmaker, New York