VAPOR by Amanda Filipacchi

VAPOR

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A surreal and often frenetic trip through makeover land as a bizarre young man helps an aspiring New York actress become a star by imprisoning her in his cloud-filled home. Filipacchi (Nude Men, 1993) crafts an intriguing diversion that’s as much a lighthearted meditation on the excesses of ambition as it is an unusual love story. When an acting professor tells narrator Anna Graham that she will never be an actress because she’s too much herself, she is determined to prove him wrong. As it happens, while she’s waiting for the subway, Anna rescues a young man who’s being attacked; in gratitude, Damon Wetly asks her out to dinner, and, after she tells him about her acting ambitions, lures her to his country house, where he closes her up in a specially designed prison. Damon, a scientist working to create solid clouds, is exquisitely sensitive to moisture and weight. Anna initially tries to resist the program of education he’s devised for her, but, worn out by a regimen that is as much physical as mental, gives in and follows his orders. Soon after she manages to escape and get back to New York, she becomes a major star. She hasn’t forgiven Damon, though, so when the opportunity presents itself she tricks him into visiting her apartment, where she imprisons him in a cage she’s had built. Nonetheless, the two soon become lovers, even though evil forces—including Damon’s plastic-surgeon brother—are determined to thwart their passion. The bad guys are routed, but Damon, who’s been experimenting with weightlessness, suddenly evaporates after being released from his cage. A grieving and Oscar-winning Anna has intimations of his possible return. An original and beguiling interpretation of old myths and contemporary preoccupations, despite a plot that often goes into overdrive.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-7867-0617-1
Page count: 320pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1999




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