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Glen David Gold

Matthew Sweet talks to writer Glen David Gold about fictionalising Charlie Chaplin in his new novel Sunnyside.

Matthew Sweet talks to writer Glen David Gold about fictionalising Charlie Chaplin in his new novel Sunnyside. Author of the bestselling book Carter Beats the Devil, the author grew up in Hollywood and was inspired to recreate the character of Chaplin by his great aunt Ingrid, a journalist, who was Chaplin's neighbour. Family legend has it that Chaplin dictated parts of his autobiography to her.

Gold's novel takes its title from Chaplin's most unusual movie, a rare financial flop called Sunnyside. At just 34 minutes long, the 1919 film cobbled together several incongruous scenes, including some classic slapstick, a surreal dance with wood nymphs, a violent suicide and a baffling happy ending. Having already made more than 60 movies before he was 30, the Little Tramp could perhaps be forgiven this creative mis-step, but Gold sees the film as the culmination of personal and professional crises in the artist's life, and uses it as the finale to this biographical novel.

45 minutes

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