"A novel of fame and friendship."
Maya is Alastair Campbell
's second novel, published in 2010. It is told from the point of view of an ordinary man, Steve, as he descends into obsession with his lifelong friend, the eponymous Maya. Maya happens to be a global megastar actress. Fame and media attitudes to the famous are major themes.
Maya contains examples of:
- Abuse Mistake: An ambiguous Type A. Steve thinks Maya's in denial about Dan's abuse, but then Steve is an Unreliable Narrator.
- All First-Person Narrators Write Like Novelists: Justified. See Nostalgic Narrator.
- Author Appeal: A plot that calls for so many subtle (and not-so-subtle) digs at invasive twenty-four hour news media is only to be expected from Alastair Campbell, whose contempt for the British press is legendary.
- Babies Make Everything Better: Averted. Averted to Hell and back. Vanessa can barely talk to Steve by the time she gives birth, never mind let him anywhere near their child.
- The Beautiful Elite: Maya and Dan.
- Big Fancy House: Of course Maya and Dan own one in North London.
- Break the Cutie: Lovely Maya is subjected to a shower of traumatic events throughout the novel.
- Childhood Friend Romance
- Downer Ending: Almost inevitably, Steve loses everything.
- "Fawlty Towers" Plot: Played for Drama.
- Good Parents: Maya's mum and dad. Along with Vanessa, they might be the only truly good and honest people in the novel.
- Jerkass: Maya's selfish and arrogant husband, Dan. On the one hand, Steve's presentation of him is coloured by mindless jealousy. On the other, Dan really is a colossal jerkass.
- Morning Sickness: For Vanessa.
- Nostalgic Narrator: Rather than narrating a novel for us, Steve is in fact writing a memoir for publication. Which throws additional light on him as an Unreliable Narrator.
- Private Detective: Hired by Steve to follow Maya.
- Purple Prose: The sex scene is such a ripe example that it was nominated for a dubious award.
"Now there they were, perfect objects of desire, my hands touching them and my lips moving down to kiss them. I ran my tongue around her nipples and then into the valley of her throat and up to her lips..."
- Sanity Slippage: Steve's growing obsession with Maya.
- Self-Insert Fic
- Sinister Surveillance: Of Maya, by Steve's hired Private Detective.
- Sliding Scale of Beauty: Maya is clearly a Level II, World Class Beauty.
- Stalker with a Crush: Steve to Maya. Well, it starts out as an innocent crush which escalates.
- Stalking Is Love: Averted. Maya flips her shit when she finds out.
- Straw Man News Media: Reporting on pretty much everything that happens.
- The Svengali: Nick, Maya's morally ambiguous agent.
- Unreliable Narrator: Steve; his Sanity Slippage, increasingly questionable ideas of what constitutes acceptable behaviour and his rampant dishonesty with other characters make him very hard to trust as a narrator.