26.5.13

THE EDGE OF PLEASURE, by Philippa Stickley

Gilver Memmer, once the art world's golden boy, has fallen off the peaks he once strode unchallenged. Beguiled by the easy world of adulation, pleasure, sex, and fast living, he let his talent go fallow. Now, at forty two, alcoholic, nearly friendless, debauched, his legendary good looks raddled, he suffers repeated blows: he runs out of money...his treasure-filled London townhouse (mostly uninsured) burns during a "farewell" party...and he meets Alice, a pretty, unpretentious, would-be author. Oh, and there's a wronged woman from his past gunning for him. Stockley's writing is entertaining and precise, her hero (with a wide streak of villain) is complex and, you feel at the beginning, deserves whatever nasty comes his way. No spoilers here (why read a book review that tells you the whole plot? what's the point?). I'm not 100% convinced the title is spot-on, but the story, of rise and fall and redemption, of the glitterati versus the real, of lust and love and how to tell the difference...that is spot-on. The perfect summer read. It's a 4+. The sex? One mild scene of unwilling sex, which seems to be our hero's specialty.