Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Beauty-Brian D'Amato


Brian D'Amato

Mulholland/Little Brown, Mar 12 2013, $14.99

ISBN: 9780316217248

New York City artist Jamie Angelo seeks the perfect Beauty, but fails to have found his muse. With friends from his Yale days, Jamie meets his compulsion for the ultimate beauty by creating faces using artificial skin for the rich and famous as he did for fellow Eli grad Penny Penn. However, instead of satiating his obsession, he feels unsatisfied as he needs much more than making loads of cash from the affluent vain.

His frustration finally ends when Jamie meets performer Jaishree Manglai. He immediately recognizes her face as the canvas for his Mona Lisa. Persuading her to allow him to turn her into the ultimate aesthetic “Minaz”; Jamie starts working on his “It Girl” masterpiece. She soon becomes the toast of the town until his work begins to fall apart as the artificial skin he used turns cancerous ugly.

This reprint of a 1994 modern day Dr. Frankenstein tale that looks deeply into the American obsession with surface Beauty mostly holds up with the test of time although the overuse of pop figures from that era detracts from the otherwise profound storyline. However, it is arrogant Jamie’s monstrous muses (shared by many) on what beauty is that makes Brian D'Amato’s first novel a winner.

Harriet Klausner

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