Monday, April 28, 2014

The Problems of Instant Fame

Nicholas Duhamel, a young man living with his lover while he tutors in philosophy, has written an explosive novel that brings him international fame and fortune. Unfortunately, the fame goes to his head. He becomes addicted to his image, constantly checking in on Facebook and Twitter to see what people are saying about him. His lover breaks upwith him calling him a self-center egoist. He's supposed to be working on a new novel, but he can't write so he lies about his progress.

Feeling he deserves a rest after all his international book tours and hoping that it may kickstart his writing, Nicholas and his new love steal off to a posh resort that caters to rich people wanting to get away. At first he's entranced by the pampering and the rich people he's consorting with, but gradually it begins to feel like a cage.

Nicholas is not a likeable character. He is egotistical, self-centered, and demanding. He is also unfaithful, preferring sexting with a casual acquaintance, to wondering what's wrong with the girl he's with. I couldn't warm up to him, but then I don't think I was supposed to. I believe the author was trying to paint a portrait of someone to whom fame and fortune have come unexpectedly, so unexpectedly that he doesn't know how to relate to it. He doesn't really understand how it happened.

The setting is wonderful, a lovely villa on a tiny island off the Tuscan shore. I'd love to visit the Gallo Nero if only for an afternoon. In fact, it's the setting that kept me reading.

One serious problem with the book is the length of the paragraphs. It makes it very difficult to stay interested. Paragraphs can go for a page or more with no dialog or other breaks. It become tedious to spend that much time in someone's head.

If you're interested in the creative process and how fame can leave a writer feeling helpless and unable to write, you may enjoy this book. If you're looking for a romance or a mystery, this isn't it.

I reviewed this book for the Amazon Vine Program.