FLAVOR OF THE MONTH by Olivia Goldsmith


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 In The First Wives Club (1992), Goldsmith was like a dog with a bone on the subject of rotten husbands; in her second novel, she's latched onto another theme that's almost as meaty: Hollywood, which she masticates with characteristic wicked glee. This twisted tale is about three women who become megastars- -thanks to a TV show featuring a trio of dolls adventuring through the Sixties on motorcycles. They are: gorgeous, smart, and talented Jahne Moore, who used to be chunky, ugly Mary Jane Moran before she hired a surgeon to take the scalpel to her; Sharleen Smith, who flees a Texas trailer park after her brother kills her abusive father; and Lila Kyle, daughter of a Joan Crawford-like star who grows up to be as vicious as her mommie dearest. The three are like spitting cats during production, and when Jahne lands a movie Lila wanted, things get worse, with Lila hiring a p.i. to get the dirt on her costars. Meanwhile, Jahne has reclaimed the guy who dumped her back in her Broadway gypsy days; but when he learns about her surgery scars, he turns her big film debut into a porn show by hiring a double to do a graphic sex scene that Jahne knows nothing about until she sees the final cut. And poor Sharleen isn't happy in L.A.--particularly when her long-lost mother shows up permanently hitched to a bottle of booze. The dirt on Jahne and Sharleen hits the rags eventually, and it looks as if Lila will walk away the winner--until she gets snagged in a sordid secret of her own. Goldsmith runs amok in Hollywood--and bores for about two hundred pages in the middle--but at the close, she pulls out all the stops, redeeming herself in a wild, over-the-top way. On Hollywood, Thomas Tryon is more touching, and Nathanael West more literate--but no one can touch Goldsmith for gusto.

Pub Date: May 31st, 1993
ISBN: 0-671-79449-3
Page count: 528pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1993


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