Sharon Krum, Author WALK OF FAMESharon Krum

"I am forty-three years old and have failed to make a dent in anyone's life": so says Tom Webster, the narrator of Krum's knowing, cynical debut about the shallowness of fame in America. Texas native Tom is now a New York City business writer whose wife left him a year ago for his best friend, Jake. Though he may be lost, he doesn't think of himself as a loser. He's obsessed with history—John Wilkes Booth, in particular—and can't manage to stay mad at Jake. Then an extraordinary thing happens to this ordinary man: a glossy magazine offers him $100,000 to write an exposé of overnight fame. His mission is to somehow make himself famous in 30 days, after which he must expose himself as just a sham in the tell-all article he's supposed to pen. To that end, Tom enlists the help of B-list actress Alexandra West, who wants to be taken more seriously and who is willing to allow Tom to use her even as she uses him. Soon their Marilyn Monroe–Arthur Miller relationship is in the tabloids and people—Tom's intimates, the media, the general public—certainly begin to react. As things spin out of control and Tom's surreal new existence encourages him to lie, the question becomes whether or not success will spoil Tom Webster. There's lots of filler here as well as Australianisms on the part of native Australian Krum that someone somewhere should have adjusted—Tom often sounds more like Bridget Jones than a Texas transplant. There are no stunning revelations, but the end result is an agreeably smart and amusing story about what most sensible people already know: fame in America is not necessarily based on merit. Agent, Barbara Zitwer Alicea. (May)

Reviewed on: 04/09/2001
Release date: 05/01/2001
Paperback - 312 pages - 978-0-7043-8157-5
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-312-31632-7
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4299-7649-7
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