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Monday, February 3, 2014

Book Review: “The Vanity Game” by H. J. Hampson, 2012, Blasted Heath, Kindle Edition.



This, the debut novel of Ms. Hampson seems to be sordidly and tantalizingly torn from the grocery store tabloids and scandal TV. Beaumont Alexander is a superstar celebrity athlete whose appetites are as immense as his ego; and whose indulgences eventually appear to digest him following a wild finish with a waitress that became sloppier than first fantasized.

This is a brilliantly conceived and executed sarcastic adventure that reads real with chaotic and plausible action. A warts filled walk with the seedy and seedier; you will find your fingers sticky with each turn of the page and your body feel in need of a shower with each chapter pass.

Ms. Hampson’s style is a blend of joyful staccato noir, hard and choppy, popping sentences like a Larry Holmes’ jab and others with a deep and sweeping flow that carry you along a twisting and thrilling ride. You can smell the fear and feels the warts walking alongside characters that range from seedy to seedier. 

Yes, if you have a sense of decency, a mere modicum of morality, you will hate everyone in this book which conversely means you will love every way these scum buckets are woven together.

And you find they are truly woven together tight fitting oval holding a mirror showing every crater and blemish.


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