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Seriously Shallow

by
June 1998, no. 201
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Vanity Fierce by Graeme Aitken

Vintage $16.95 pb, 518 pp

Book Cover 2 Small

Gay Resort Murder Shock

by Phillip Scott

Penguin $16.95 pb, 344 pp

Seriously Shallow

by
June 1998, no. 201

Popular fiction is often character-driven. An immediate distinction between these heavily-populated novels would be that if I met the main protagonist of Scott’s book I’d want to have coffee with him whereas if I met Aitken’s I’d want to slap him.

Both books star a gay narcissist of mirror-ball proportions. The symptomatic difference is that Scott’s comic creations do more with less effort and fewer glitches, while Aitken’s clog up the narrative with a slurry of awkward Central Casting out-takes. The effect in Scott is of an acerbic one-man Greek chorus-line who comes onstage, stirs the plot, complicates the (sexual and otherwise) relationships, and performs a series of camp pratfalls that add to the subcultural comedy of manners while advancing the farcical detective-story. In Aitken, it is of being stuck next to a hyperactive garrulous prat on a transatlantic flight.

Dean Kiley reviews 'Vanity Fierce' by Graeme Aitken and 'Gay Resort Murder Shock' by Phillip Scott

Vanity Fierce

by Graeme Aitken

Vintage $16.95 pb, 518 pp

Buy this book
Book Cover 2 Small

Gay Resort Murder Shock

by Phillip Scott

Penguin $16.95 pb, 344 pp

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