Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Review: The Fame Game by Charles Casillo

Charles Casillo
The Fame Game

Published by Alyson Publications

Reviewed by J. DeMarco

Three driven characters make up the heart of this book: Mikki Britten is gorgeous, talented, and desperate to be an actress; she only needs to meet the right people and she’ll do anything to meet them. Carla Christaldi is the daughter of a famous Hollywood director but all she wants is to make it on her own merits, except she lacks that spark. But she learns that deception is her real talent. Mario DeMarco is a sexy prostitute with an idea. His looks have made it easy for him to get by, but to his chagrin no one has ever recognized the intellectual talents beneath the looks. He’ll do anything for that recognition.

On one fateful night a deadly game is begun in which someone will win but the price of failure is too horrible to contemplate. Each of the tales takes its own direction, each character finding their own way through the intricacies and sandtraps – each of them desperate for recognition, accolades, and fame.

Casillo knows his way around New York and Hollywood and the many types of people who inhabit these magnets for talent. The complex and very human characters he creates, along with well-drawn settings, pull you into the book while the plot twists and turns keep you turning pages. Well plotted, suspenseful, emotional, and enjoyable, The Fame Game is a great summer read, or an anytime read. But make certain you have the next day off, this book has kept more than one person awake until they could finish. It combines the old-fashioned Hollywood tale of driven people hungry for a break, and gives it a modern sensibility which fills it with an edgy, cautionary feel – one that will make you think. There are emotional highs and lows, enough tension to fill a barn, sympathetic characters, and lots of insider information that make this a book you’ll want to read.

Joseph DeMarco lives and writes in Philadelphia. His work appears in many publications and his latest stories can be found in Paws and Reflect (Alyson) and Charmed Lives (Lethe) as well as his monthly column in XFactor magazine. He can be contacted at joseph@josephdemarco.com



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