Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Joanna Barnes

The first time I laid eyes on this novel I knew I was in for a treat. Maybe it's the 70's cover that did it, or perhaps it's the Jacqueline Susann's blurb underneath the title praising the work. Whatever the reason, this novel is worth your time and money.

THE DECEIVERS by Joanna Barnes (Pocket, 1971)

Yep, another Hollywood novel, but one done with panache. Veteran actress truned author Joanna Barnes clearly has fun with her cast of characters which goes from the sweet ingenue to the ultimate brat who rules Tinseltown. Her prose is as sharp as her villain's scheming ways. No one is safe from her pen as she pushes them all into a topsy-turvy world of charmed lives and decadence where a Hollywood gone mad is worthy of any Susanns and Collinses.-----Martin Boucher

Monday, 9 June 2008

Elton Clarke

Here's a quick read that delivers--well, sort of:

OPTIONS by Elton Clarke (Leisure, 1985)

This B-grade Hollywood novel spents most of its time out of LaLa Land and into the world of a woman on the run from her deranged rich hubby; a sort of Sleeping With the Enemy without the obsession for neatness shtick. Author Elton Clarke has fun with his one dimensional characters but barely manages to elevate his story to nothing more than déjà vu plot with an over the top climax. Boring this does not make the novel, however, since half the fun is figuring out if indeed the cliché road will be taken. When it does take that route mostly, the next part is trying to figure out how it'll all going to end. Let's just say you have to read to believe it. If you're into this sort of narrative pleasure, than OPTIONS is a must. If you prefer high class trash, then looking elsewhere is a surer bet.-----Martin Boucher