CHILDREN OF PARADISE by Camilla Grudova
Not too far from my place, there’s an old cinema that still shows late night double features and kitsch horror marathons and is pretty much loved by everyone in town. It’s a Mecca for film geeks but also for those who just want to push pause (so to speak) on the pace of popular culture. So too, The Paradise, a decrepit Scottish cinema at the centre of Camilla Grudova’s latest book. It’s a shitty place to work at first, as Holly find out soon after landing a job. The place is falling apart. Her coworkers show little interest in her. And she’s left to deal with any number of difficult customers, not to mention Iris, the delightfully demented owner.
With time, Holly is absorbed into the ecosystem of oddball cinephiles and The Paradise becomes her life. That is, until a major chain buys the cinema. The Children of Paradise is a triumphant, warmhearted hymn to a bygone era. Grudova writes with such love about these misfits and their often disturbing (albeit relatable) antics, and she peppers the story with light surrealist touches and movie references, that the whole thing is an absolute joy to read.
Children of Paradise by Camila Grudova