Fame Shark

Royal Young, Author
Royal Young. Heliotrope (www.heliotropebooks.com), $16.95 (199p) ISBN 978-0-9832-9408-5
Reviewed on: 06/24/2013
Release date: 06/01/2013
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When spurned from the limelight of Hollywood and New York, what's a self-proclaimed "fame shark" to do? Publish a memoir of course. By exposing his eccentric family and various chemical addictions through a "brat-lit" formula, Young chronicles his life in Manhattan from a child movie extra to a strung out club kid. The early passages following Young on Manhattan film sets are entertaining, but his attempts to shock readers with ribald language and descriptions of his father's erotic art come off flat. Even Young's later sexual escapades and club scenes seem as dated as the New York Post's Page Six mentions. After being thrown out of the family home at 20 for partying every night, Young rushes to the end of this brief memoir with an unconvincing resolution of family discord, followed by the death of an estranged grandfather. But for all his failed aspirations, what Young overlooks is his own talent as a writer. The prose is pleasantly paced, the humor self-deprecating and the structure tight, displaying a mature ability of knowing exactly when to start and stop a scene. All this leaves the reader to wonder the result of such talent if focused on something other than Young's not-so-famous self. (June)
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