Welcome to my review for Amanda Filipacchi’s novel, Vapor – and don’t forget to enter my giveaway where one lucky winner will get eBook copies of Love Creeps, Nude Men and Vapor.
An interesting construct of satire and fantasy, the slow development and near deadpan delivery of the narrative belie the pointed and often amusing jabs taken at all things ‘celebrity’ and the compulsions that often override sense and humanity in the quest for fame at all costs.
Anna is a middle of the road person – not a great actress, not a great thinker, not particularly gorgeous or even talented: but her overwhelming desire and obsession is to become a famous and lauded actress. Essentially lacking in talent or the emotional honesty to see this, her ‘exercises’ in emotional portrayals were intriguing, even as her own interior monologue shows her utter disconnect with the material, and lack of depth in her own experience to find and make that connection. What is even funnier is that she is constantly trying to ‘downplay’ her aggressive tendencies, at a suggestion from her acting coach.
When she happens to be in the right place to save a man from a mugging, the story starts to take some ridiculously odd twists that serve to keep the reader off balance, but always intrigued. Damon was the man Anna saved, a scientist who sees her as the epitome of woman, and his repayment for her good deed is to grant her a wish, and then kidnap her to keep her for himself.
Yeah- it’s weird, and it’s twisty and funny and particularly pointed, leaving me much like a character in the book – there are celebrities that we see who have no particular talent, skill or redeeming features – yet there is an appeal, a draw. And that is Anna in a nutshell. Delightfully quick to read, the story feels lighthearted and fluffy, but when you finish, you cannot stop thinking about it. Information about celebrity, self-absorption and self-awareness and do they necessarily cancel one another out, or does the gain of one mean the loss of another? I’ll leave you to figure that all out with this unique novel.
Title: Vapor: A Novel
Author: Amanda Filipacchi
Genre: Literary Fiction
Published by: Open Road Integrated Media
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ iTunes ♦ Downpour
The Pygmalion myth recast by one of America’s boldest and most bewitching storytellers
Anna Graham has one ambition—to be a great actress. The only problem is, she can’t stop being herself. She is proud, stubborn, and moody; according to her acting teacher, she needs to be as bland and pliable as warm wax. Even when she rents a Good Fairy Queen Costume—complete with crown, wand, and wig—and walks the streets of New York City until three thirty in the morning, she fails to be anyone but Anna Graham. “Help,” she thinks, smoking a cigarette in a deserted subway station. “Help!” screams a man at the other end of the platform as two attackers pull him onto the train tracks. Red pepper spray in hand, the Good Fairy Queen rushes to Damon Wetly’s rescue—and Anna’s wish comes true, in the oddest way imaginable.
Locked inside a cage in Wetly’s cloud-filled country home, Anna learns to do everything—walk, talk, think, eat, breathe—differently. When she finally escapes, she becomes a star—as Wetly promised she would. The new-and-improved Anna attracts plenty of admirers—including a paraplegic soap opera celebrity; the world’s most famous supermodel; and a handsome cellist, Weight Watchers counselor, etiquette expert, and exotic dancer named Nathaniel Powers—but she only has eyes for her former captor, the creator of miniature clouds and major actresses. Just when it seems that her fairy tale ending is right around the corner, Anna’s whole world threatens to evaporate into thin air.
Fearless and fascinating, Vapor holds a funhouse mirror up to some of our deepest and most alluring notions about fame, identity, and desire.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.