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HELLER TOREN
The Performer


click to enlarge

Bellmont, New York, 1971
(price: 75 cents)


The blurb on the back:

SHE ALWAYS WORE RED
Luscious Andrea Webster, white-haired and yellow-eyed, set aflame movie-goers the world over with her voluptuous performances. Andrea danced through life, using her great beauty to get anything she wanted. Then she met Sammy Levin and fell in love, more passionately than she had ever thought possible. Sammy was different from other men Andrea knew. She had to cast a net to get him, and in casting it she was hopelessly lost.


What's that? Who's Heller Toren, you say? Surely you remember Elaine Smith, the dancer and actress who went on to marry Jess Yates and give the world the delightful Paula Yates, courtesy of Hughie Green?

Anyway Ms Toren has done some writing on her account, and this novel is perhaps her most famous work. Which is to say that it's not very well known at all. Is it any good? Well, there you've got me, I'm afraid. I couldn't read the damn thing. I tried, for the sake of this site, but I just couldn't get through it. I can say that it's not actively bad, and that in its multi-narrator structure, it is at least attempting to do something different from the run-of-the-mill novels about the entertainment industry, but ... oh, it's just too dull. It's not even funny.

The best thing about it is the cover tagline that so heavily undersells the endeavour: 'A sensational new novel about a woman you may never forget'. I love that 'may'.


ARTISTIC MERIT: 2/5
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE:
1/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT:
4/5


visit an interview with Helene Thornton
formerly known as Heller Toren
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