Upgrading
Simon Brooke
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Buy *Upgrading* online

Upgrading

Simon Brooke
Downtown Press
Paperback
384 pages
August 2004
rated 1 of 5 possible stars
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Andrew Collins is bored with his job selling advertising for a London newspaper. When he reads an article about a male escort service, he decides to check it out for himself. He's looking for a little excitement, and when he discovers that he can make some pretty good money, Andrew is definitely up to the challenge. After using the agency a few times, he hooks up with a wealthy American, Marion. She's got more than enough money, but she's awfully stingy with it. Andrew gets some tips from other "male companions" for how best to work the system and get Marion to provide clothes, cars, and a hefty allowance.

Now that he has it all, Andrew finds that he's just not as happy as he thought he would be. When he meets Jane, his heart and affections are divided. Does Andrew want to live the high life that Marion can provide? Or will he settle for Jane with very little money, but loads of contentment? Why is the choice so difficult?

Upgrading is a fairly sleazy lad-lit novel. Andrew doesn't have much of a conscience throughout the book. He's out for the money and whatever it can provide. Even when he's with Marion and she begins to give him what he wants, he doesn't stay faithful to her. His escort job is not one he can brag about, in fact he's embarrassed for Jane to know exactly how he met Marion. There's not much that's redeeming about Upgrading. Even Andrew's attack of conscience at the end comes too little, too late, in my opinion. He's basically a whiny freeloader who garners no sympathy from this reader. Yet, Marion and her slimy rich crowd are no better. Their idea of entertainment and morals aren't any higher than Andrew's. There are much better examples of British chick and lad lit, I recommend you skip Upgrading and choose something that won't leave a horrible aftertaste in your mouth.



Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. Melissa Parcel, 2005

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