From the author dubbed "a literary Lolita" by Vanity Fair comes the perfect portrait of a young actress caught in a downward spiral of self-destruction. Edgy and funny at the same time, Thin Skin provides a realistic glimpse into the dark and inviting world of fame from the writer who penned Namedropper when she was just twenty-one.
Everyone thinks Ruby is beautiful except for Ruby, who is so hell-bent on being ugly that she's driven away the man who loves her, the agent who swears he could have made her a star, and the delectable male costar of her latest project, Mean People Suck. After all, Ruby believes that what's going on outside should reflect what's on the inside--and inside she's a mess. Burned-out at the age of twenty, she's living alone in a world of hotels and fast food--none of which she keeps down--haunted by the memory of her childhood love, cutting herself, and tempted to repeat her mother's tragic fate. She needs to find a new way of being. . . . and fast.
"Cinema was nurture as well as nature. I saw things on the screen and saw my future." Pithy though it may be, that barely begins to capture the self-destructive, narcissistic personality of Ruby, the neurotic actress whose downward spiral is the subject of Forrest's second novel, after Namedropper. Forrest paints 20-year-old Ruby as an over-the-top, sexpot actress who bounces from boyfriend to boyfriend and from one film project to the next. Her talents include a flair for enticing men with her beauty and frustrating agents and directors with her bad-girl antics (her agent goes ballistic when she gets new tattoos that make her ineligible for period costume dramas). The cast of boyfriends includes the gorgeous Aslan, who refuses to touch Ruby after their first sexual encounter because he believes she is an evil spirit. The one she's really looking for is super-sexy Liev, a friend of her father's who has eluded her since she first met him at age 12, and has become an obsession for her. The closest thing to a genuine subplot in this narrowly focused novel is an incident in which Ruby befriends the wife of one of the men she has seduced and the two women proceed to engage in mutual psychoanalysis. The ending, which includes a suicide attempt, is disappointingly familiar. Ruby's commentary on Hollywood, Manhattan, the celebrity scene and the perils of being a gorgeous, insecure actress can be quite witty, but Forrest also asks us to take Ruby's woes seriously, something most readers will find hard to do. FYI: Brad Pitt's production company, Bloc, has bought Forrest's first screenplay, also called Thin Skin.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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February 17, 2003
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