elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,
elisa_rolle
elisa_rolle

Vanity Fierce by Graeme Aitken

With the title literary reference, I was expecting for Vanity Fierce to be a metaphor on how beauty is not all in life… but indeed I have the feeling that Stephen, the golden boy whose life is the center of the novel, didn’t catch the moral theme of his story, and I’m pretty sure he is still convinced that being the more beautiful of the batch is the ultimate solution. The fact is that, he is so sure of his persuasion that the reader admittedly has to agree with him, and while he is probably the most unlikable character you can find in a novel, you cannot avoid to like him.

The son of a mediocre actress and a mediocre lawyer, Stephen didn’t have much trouble in being the beau of the ball while he was in high school, and he managed pretty well in maneuvering all people around him to his own dance. When he goes to college, Stephen decides that he is in love with his neighbor Ant, a young man who was already badly hurt by another golden boy and that is weary to be burnt again. While Ant is searching Kip, his ex, in all the blond hair-blue eyes boy of Sidney gay neighborhood, he seems to relegate Stephen to the role of best friend (with no benefits). Instead of being discouraged, or maybe honored that Ant values him so much, Stephen does everything he can to conquer Ant, arriving even to steal Ant’s new love interest, Carson, only to dump him soon after he finds out Carson is HIV positive.

What is funny is that Stephen is always able to find a right justification for all his actions, managing to find the right even in the worst wrong situation. But probably the reason why the reader cannot hate Stephen is that there is no malice in him, everything Stephen does is for love (or at least what he thinks love is) and there is no interest in him, if not wanting for everyone to love him, or better to adore him, like he is some gay god sent to earth to “enlighten” all the gay boys. Stephen can probably have everyone, he even manages to catch the perfect boyfriend, handsome, young, well-off, but he is not Ant, he is not his love, and so, nothing matter. While I’m not sure we are doing good for Ant, I ended cheering for Stephen in his quest of catching his love.

Amazon: Vanity Fierce
Amazon Kindle: Vanity Fierce
Paperback: 518 pages
Publisher: Vintage (Random House) (1998)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0091837162
ISBN-13: 978-0091837167

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle

This journal is friends only. This entry was originally posted at http://reviews-and-ramblings.dreamwidth.org/3408519.html. If you are not friends on this journal, Please comment there using OpenID.
Tags: author: graeme aitken, genre: contemporary, length: novel, review
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Comments allowed for friends only

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 0 comments