Books: A Legend Writes a Novel

A book by--or about?--Marlon Brando is more interesting for its backstory than its plot

Anatole Doultry--known by the gender-bending nickname Annie--looks and acts a lot like the middle-age Marlon Brando. He is overweight and has a broken nose, a gift for mimicry and a taste for life in the Pacific Rim's more exotic climes. But his most important resemblance to the actor is in that "the layers of his deceptions were like the layers of an onion's skin."

That sentence is the creation of a man named Donald Cammell, who, possibly to his regret, agreed to co-write with Brando a screen treatment, and then a novel, called Fan-Tan, which is about to be published in...

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