The Shallow Man

Coerte V. W. Felske, Author
Coerte V. W. Felske, Author Crown Publishing Group (NY) $21 (243p) ISBN 978-0-517-70035-8
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Cruising Manhattan's young and beautiful scene on a Harley Davidson, Nick Laws is on a desperate search for supermodels or, as he puts it, ``Thing.'' Whether throwing parties for that one in 50,000 who is ``hot. Thing hot,'' fending off ``Civilians'' (everyday girls with everyday looks) or convincing Thing to dump ``Guy'' (everyday boy, everyday looks), Nick is driven by Thing-how to get it and how to enjoy it. After a few freakish days in Miami, his mother's funeral and a bitter family reunion, however, his world threatens to unravel, leading him to bare his soul to a Civilian. But for how long will this uncharacteristic behavior hold? Though the world that Felske paints is self-consciously hipper-than-thou, he holds his portrait of it in check with a ribald sense of humor and an understanding of the limitations of Nick's ways. Tight prose and smooth dialogue impel the story along, while the names of so many trendy New York night spots dot the text that hipster wannabes can use it as a guidebook. This first novel isn't much deeper than the characters it portrays, but it captures their gloss with a smart shine of its own. (July)
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