December 29th, 2012

andrew potter

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: list&view=elisa.rolle

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andrew potter

LGBT Ebook and Print Releases December, 2012

100 Days to Christmas by Delilah Storm (Torquere Books)
12 Days of Craigslist by Matt Zachary
7 Days of Christmas (A Hamilton River Story) by Nicole Dennis (Silver Publishing)
A Carnal Medium: fin de siècle essays on the photographic nude by Joseph Gleeson White, Robert Hobart Cust and James Downs
A Christmas Carol by Em Woods (Total-e-Bound)
A Christmas for Ava (Lost Shifter) by Stephani Hecht (eXtasy Books)
A Gentleman's Agreement by J. Roman (Dreamspinner Press)
A Ghost Story by Shayne Carmichael (Torquere Books)
A Heart on Hold - Closet Gay at Thirty - Gay Seduction by Chris Johns
A Home For Christmas by Matt Zachary
A Little Christmas Cheer by Karenna Colcroft (MLR Press)
A Midwinter Prince by Harper Fox
A Moon-Runner Christmas by N.J. Nielsen (Silver Publishing)
A New Normal by Carol Lynne (Total-e-Bound)
A Not-So-Straight Christmas by Tarrant TN (Silver Publishing)
A Puppy for Christmas by Karly Maddison (Silver Publishing)
A Purrfect Match by Chris T. Kat (Dreamspinner Press)
A Turning Point by Valerie Myers (MLR Press)
A Very Holland Christmas (Holland Brothers) by Toni Griffin (Silver Publishing)
A Very Male Shifter Christmas by Zach Collins, Shelby Lynn and Rae Brewer
Acceleration: Impulse, Book Two (Volume 2) by Amelia C. Gormley, Kerry Chin and Michael Hart
Across Borders (The Bestiary) by Alex Powell (Less Than Three Press)
Adam's Unicorn by Astrid Cooper (eXtasy Books)
Adding to the Collection, a Roughstock Holiday story by BA Tortuga (Torquere Books)
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