Within this tale of the inner workings of the New York theater scene and the way in which actresses and actors develop independent productions, there is the hidden suggestion of a well-told tale and sharply-defined characters. The first page is designed to look/read like a screenplay, hinting at sexual relations ("VIRGINIA removes her bra . . . .") is one description. Then the first paragraph: "The screenplay went on like that. They all did. Lately, the real trick to auditioning was keeping my face from cracking in two and betraying my true revulsion for these idiotic little characterizations."
Instantly we know the type of world this character inhabits; we know that she is a serious artist seeking a springboard for her talent without having to do naked backflips across a casting director's floor, and we also know - or at least sense - that she's probably going to have to compromise. So much revealed in just a handful of words.
But the story breaks down and the characters become caricatures; the dialog reads like bad soap opera, and that's hardly possible.
There is an interesting look inside this world but it becomes a monstrous cliche. You know what's going to happen before it does, characters don't surprise you, sadness reeks of the maudlin, and the laughs are so as canned as ham.
This is the author's sixth book. A suggestion? Don't start with this one.