Infamous: 9

Joan Collins, Author Dutton Books $23.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-525-94129-3
She's back. In the recent court battle between Collins and Random House, the jury found that Collins had turned in a ""complete"" manuscript and so could keep her $1.2 million advance. The jury didn't have to decide if the novel was ""acceptable,"" the more stringent criterion most authors contractually face. Dutton, however, has decided that Collins's newest novel, for which it contracted in the spring of 1995, is not only complete but acceptable-but for what? Perhaps for hitting bestsellers lists, by surfing the publicity wave lifted by the trial; certainly not for claiming literary merit. The book, based at least in part on Collins's own life, is a howler. The heroine is Katherine Bennet, star of the prime-time soap The Skeffingtons; the time frame is the late 1980s. Katherine has a host of problems. She must cope with a rummy ex-husband and a rebellious son who's a bit of a jailbird. Though beloved by a nice-guy scriptwriter, she falls hard for a cad of a Frenchman who chases other women, including her on-screen rival, once an abused child. Lurid back-stories pass for plot, and the prose is equally beyond the fringe: ""She had curly carrot hair that reminded Barney of the strawberry milkshakes he sorely missed""; ""A man with a face like a hungry dog, and a thick ginger toupee, like a dead cat, perched on his head."" Collins was dynamite playing villainess Alexis Carrington on Dynasty, but in her latest stab at playing a writer, she flubs nearly every line. Major ad/ promo; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club selection; author tour. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1996
Release date: 05/01/1996
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 514 pages - 978-0-7862-0692-6
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-56100-886-5
Analog Audio Cassette - 4 pages - 978-1-56100-685-4
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-451-98361-9
Analog Audio Cassette - 8 pages - 978-1-56100-310-5
Mass Market Paperbound - 416 pages - 978-0-451-18805-2
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-56740-164-6
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