Sunday, March 20, 2011
Slate by Brian Rowe
Hollywood casting director Vivien Slate thought she had it all, until coming home one day to find her husband cheating on her with a younger woman. With her marriage on the rocks, she decides it’s the perfect time to recapture her sexual identity... by finding a younger man of her own.
Vivien realizes she has a dating service right inside her own office—she’s a casting director, after all. She devises a scenario to make the town believe her newest film project is as real as any other. She populates the cast with male characters spanning the ages of twenty to forty and begins holding auditions with hundreds of Tinseltown’s most eligible bachelors.
Vivien stops at nothing to find her perfect younger man, even if it means leaving her morals behind and ultimately putting her life in danger
I was surprised by this book.
It was a really fun read, quick, punchy, with the aura of Hollywood enmeshed in its pages. The main character, Vivien Slate is a powerhouse of laughs as she does whatever she can to get her way in every situation. Some scenes, like a classic purse fight with her husband, had me laughing out loud. She is surprisingly lovable, even in her maniacal selfishness.
I found myself captivated with the ins and outs of movie casting, learning a lot about how a movie comes together and making me very glad I never considered entering that world in any manner.
The second half of the book drags just a bit, there's too much of Brandon, who is not the strongest character, but it picks up as we begin to see the repercussions of Slate's careless behavior. The final few chapters read almost like a crime novel, exciting, suspenseful and not a little frightening.
One issue I did have with the novel, and this is very personal, so take it or leave it, is one particular scene with Slate and a rattlesnake. Now, this is serious nit-picking and this might not bother any other reader, but I need to put it out there. In this scene Slate is confronted with a rattlesnake who blocks her path until she has to kill it. Ok, I am a snake's rights advocate and I take slight issue with this description. Snakes do not chase after people, they do not attack, they flee from humans, so Slate would never have been put in the position where she had to "slay" it. Snake are extremely shy creatures that have been maligned enough, we don't need more fodder.
That's it, rant over. Really, if you're looking for a good, fast read, one that is perfect for the beach or on vacation, this is an excellent choice.