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Wasted Beauty: A Novelby Eric Bogosian
Synopses & Reviews
With his dark wit and corrosive dialogue, Eric Bogosian tells a powerful and emotionally wrenching tale of two lovers who form a mesmerizing and destructive bond while trying to evade the looming failure of their respective lives.
Reba runs away from her shabby and desolate rural community for the lure of New York City. Her tall and awkward frame lands her work modeling, but she is not prepared for the glamorous, drug-fueled life of a celebrated mannequin. After a series of painful relationships, she sees hope and an exit toward stability and sanity in the man who saves her brother's life.
This man is Rick, a successful SoHo general practitioner with a warm family and an idyllic life that has left him restless and hollow. He doesn't take Reba seriously until he finds himself so enmeshed in her beauty that he risks losing everything — his home, his children, and his beloved wife.
Now this master monologist and author of the acclaimed Mall returns with a sprawling novel of urban desperation and desire that brings to mind the winding narratives of Tom Wolfe salted with the dark urges of Philip Roth. The New York Times hailed Eric Bogosian's fiction as "caustic, fast-paced....Adapting himself to fiction with...the same garrulous intensity he brings to plays and monologues, Mr. Bogosian sets in motion a suburban nightmare." And Entertainment Weekly has lauded his "merciless satirical vision [that] takes you deep into the dark heart of the American dream."
Wasted Beauty is Bogosian's enthralling journey through the high life of drugs and fashion celebrity, middle-class guilt and sexual obsession.
"Actor Bogosian (Mall) takes the 'opposites attract' conceit to an extreme in a well-crafted novel that's also a vicarious walk on the wild side. Before he crashes two very different ends of the social spectrum together, though, Bogosian develops each one separately, cultivating suspense: how will these characters come together? In one corner is Reba, a 20-year-old upstate New York farm girl who, along with her nasty brother, Billy, sells apples to Manhattanites on weekends. In a breathless series of events, she becomes separated from Billy and is spotted by a fashion photographer who turns her into a supermodel. In the other corner is Rick, a middle-aged Jewish doctor living in the suburbs with his family. While he likes his life, he's also chafing under certain domestic constraints. It's up to Billy to make them collide by hurtling off the deep end after losing his sister; he ends up in the emergency room, and Rick sends him to the psych ward. The model and the physician eventually begin a torrid, May/December romance that drives the latter toward divorce and the former into addiction. It's a great guilty pleasure of a story line (brainy schlump meets gorgeous goddess), and Bogosian fills it with fresh, frank turns of phrase — the frazzled doctor's eyes are 'like slit-open gray prunes' — even if the ending feels a little too sanitized for the gritty story that preceded it. Agent, William Morris. (May)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[D]ark, raunchy....The lovers' high-wire act, in the final third, is gripping....Not surprisingly, Bogosian has a fine ear: more dialogue and fewer interior monologues might have made for a leaner, more powerful tale." Kirkus Reviews
"Although Bogosian is a skillful writer, his points feel cliched...and his characters sometimes seem like retreads from other novels. Ultimately, although he brings back gossip about the party, Bogosian reveals that it's still just the same old scene." Booklist
From the author of Mall comes a sprawling novel of urban desperation and desire that etches an unforgettable portrait of New York's drug and fashion worlds, and of the desperation running just beneath the surface glamour.
About the Author
Eric Bogosian is the author of Mall, the plays Talk Radio, subUrbia, and Griller, and the Obie Award-winning solo performances Drinking in America, Pounding Nails in the Floor with My Forehead, and Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll. He is the recipient of the Berlin Film Festival Silver Bear Award, a Drama Desk Award, and two NEA fellowships. An actor who has appeared in more than a dozen feature films and television shows, Bogosian lives in New York City.
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