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Another from the resourceful and amusing Felske, whose satire of the fashion industry, The Shallow Man (1995), and knifing of Los Angeles, Word (1998), are both in the pipeline at New Line Cinema. Like the late Stanley Elkin, Felske masters the pedantry of various trades and milieus, then creates a joyous poetry of jargon to float his novels on, setting sail on an ocean of buzzwords. His latest topic is international gold diggers—the sweet lovelies more sharklike than Anita Loos’s or Truman Capote’s—who speak of Walletmen (fat cats of Fortune 500 and Forbes 400), of Chanel, Bulgart, and Armani, and of the seasons at Gstaad, Cannes, Nice, and Ibiza. Felske’s narrator, Bo (Bodices), has jade-green eyes, has had her lips tattooed deep red for a strong lip line, changes color every six weeks, and has just gone off-Tour and arrived in Manhattan to see an English sugar-daddy whom a fellow Digger (Travels With Men) has asked her to entertain. Bo, part Native American Zuni, builds the egos of her Walletmen with wise words lifted from astrology columns, and, since seeing Dances With Wolves, she nicks all her fellow Diggers with names like Earns Every Penny and Every Little Bit Helps. She has a Ten Year Window, from 20 to 30, to hit the Mother Lode—a Walletman she can mine for lasting, lifetime security. For the time being, she lives in a cute two-bedroom on the 34th floor of Trump Tower (rent: $4,800 a month) that she shares with her best friend, the snowman (that is, gay) budding psychologist Napoleon Dieudonne, to whom—as his only patient’she tells her steamy life story: her pursuit of The Rich Rebel, Bradley Lorne-August; her tie with late sister Vicky’s daughter, Maximilia; and her own rise to true self-empowerment. Felske laces every page with a masterful cynicism that Bo sees as her own Millennial Smarts while still charming all. A novel with legs.

Pub Date: Oct. 5th, 1999
ISBN: 0-312-24217-4
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1999


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by Coerte V.W. Felske
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by Coerte V.W. Felske