Brand New Cherry Flavor

Todd Grimson, Author
Todd Grimson, Author Eos $20 (0p) ISBN 978-0-06-105233-0
Reviewed on: 11/29/1999
Release date: 12/01/1999
Supernatural curses, blood sacrifices and zombie factotums are unobtrusive aspects of the lifestyles of the rich and famous in this gleeful swipe at the dark underbelly of Hollywood. Using the basic elements of the how-to-succeed-in-business story, Grimson (Stainless) builds, in his hardcover debut, a bonfire of the vanities for the celluloid set that ignites when director wannabe Lisa Nova seeks revenge on a deceitful studio v-p who denies her the assistant director's spot she slept with him to get. Through her network of low-life friends, Lisa contacts Boro, an exotic mystic and hit man. When Boro's rituals prove lethally effective, Lisa realizes that she has stepped in deep voodoo. She sprouts tattoos that mark her as Boro's pawn; and, when she channels the same dark forces he has harnessed, she finds the power she needs to earn the respect of her colleagues. Lisa's adventures bring her into contact with a flock of dreamers, con men and opportunists, all dependent for their existence on the outrageousness sanctioned in the name of the avant garde. Grimson animates them convincingly, and elaborates their world with such authority that it seems perfectly reasonable that a cosmetically enhanced starlet, a world-renowned botanist, a director of splatter films, a troupe of airhead punk musicians and a shaman empowered by a magic jaguar skin might run in the same circles. Droll without ever being boring, perfectly poised on the edge that separates humor from horror, this novel furthers Grimson's reputation as one of the more inventive new writers probing the dark side of contemporary America. (Nov.)