TAKE A GOOD LOOK by Tor Seidler


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Aspiring screenwriter develops somewhat less superficial view of life--in a sincere and amateurish novel by an author of children's books and one adult fable (The Dulcimer Boy, 1979). Protagonist Paul Motley moves to Manhattan and gives up poetry for screenwriting after his successful older brother tells hun the Zeitgeist of the age is visual. Indeed, Paul is already in tune, constantly making snide snap judgements on the basis of appearance. He falls in love at first sight with a beautiful woman across the street and gets himself hired at the restaurant where she works in order to meet her. She, Stevie, is waiting tables only because of her obsession with another waiter--fellow acting student Alex Featherstone. In spite of family wealth, Alex lives in a squalid Hell's Kitchen studio with his gay identical twin Mick (no apparent relation to real-life psychotic killer Mickey Featherstone, also of Hell's Kitchen). Just as Paul is smitten with rich, self-assured, and shallow Stevie and scorns the Featherstones' honest, intelligent cousin Miranda for her red hair, freckles, and lack of fashion sense, he is impressed with Alex's artifice as an actor and fails to appreciate Mick's genuine talent. After Stevie and Alex marry, Paul's screenplay has been rejected, and Mick has become a star, Paul is still judging by surface appearance, but with a touch more sophistication. Harmless, graceless entertainment with a message and some dark undertones (jealousy, violence, and a possible sexual relationship between the twins).

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1990
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux