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Scary Kisses Paperback – June 24, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Overlook TP (June 24, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585674265
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585674268
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,975,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Fashion models may go to plastic surgeons, but it would take a heart surgeon to breathe some life into the narcissistic, yuppie mannequins who stumble zombie-like through this semi-pornographic romp. The prose style might be called mod-minimalist, and the trite dialogue is typeset like a film script (a hint to Hollywood?), which doesn't help matters at all. The plot could be loosely summarized as boy loses girl, boy (very briefly) gets boy, boy wins back girl from the second boy. The action hops from New York's East and West Villages to Paris and Milan, then returns to the Big Apple where Sister Ruth Theresa's psychotherapy sessions help Lucy fall back into the arms of handsome young Todd, thus saving him from a lonely, glitzy lifestyle. Short-story writer Gooch ( Jailbait ) has been a fashion model himself, yet he lacks the least bit of critical distance or humor to animate this self-styled scoop on the fast-track world of male modeling with its drugs, sex and glitter. 50,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Todd loves Lucy, who thinks she loves Frank, who thinks Todd loves him, but Frank doesn't know how to love Lucy or Todd. They all love themselves. This is a tale of lust, ambition, and fashion modeling set in New York, Milan, and Paris. But adolescent self-involvement rendered in mawkish jargon generates no energy and delivers no payoff. The author is more interested in wardrobes than in his characters, who are mere props in this static series of sketchy scenes that read like stage directions.Leonard Kniffel, Detroit P.L.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Brad Gooch is the author of the acclaimed biography of Frank O'Hara, City Poet, as well as Flannery: A Life of Flannery O'Connor, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Biography, along with other nonfiction and three novels. The recipient of National Endowment for the Humanities and Guggenheim fellowships, he earned his Ph.D. at Columbia University and is Professor of English at William Paterson University in New Jersey. He lives in New York City.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Owen Keehnen on December 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
Brad Gooch's 1988 novel SCARY KISSES is a chronicle of the career of model Todd from his "discovery" through his ensuing season as "the new face" in Milan, Paris, and New York. Balancing his career timeline is the trajectory of Todd's relationship with his on-again off-again girlfriend Lucy as well as fellow model/friend/rival Frank. This book is well written - it's sexy and smart and truly soars at various points. However, the structure of SCARY KISSES is a sort of mosaic with scenes coming together to form a novel, and this works to undermine the book on numerous occasions. Frequently this form seemed disjointed and jumbled with satellite plot designs leading nowhere and contributing little to the overall book. SCARY KISSES has value and Gooch's writing is good...but it's very design undermines the dramatic thrust this novel needs and tries to attain near the end. The result is a mixed bag.
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I love that snazzily sizzling novel, "Scary Kisses", Brad Gooch's early sortie into writing fiction and getting it published. It seems to me to be "high camp", making much ado, with tongue in cheek, about the fashion world. Certainly Todd, the central male character, initially allows too much of his self-value to depend upon his ability to please the eye physically as he dresses up in fancy duds. He craves fame, even if it is in what for most of the public is the domain of seldom named, semi-anonymous (albeit attractive) fashion models. Todd pleases even more when he is buck-naked or very nearly so, variously; indeed, he finds that the "fashionistas" themselves best like him totally undressed!

Gooch depicts Todd's sexual ambiguity and longings very touchinginly, albeit through his rather dry-eyed approach to such matters of the heart. Todd craves Frank, the guy who faciliates Todd's initial break into fashion modelling and who finally seduces and sexually penetrates Todd as the lad blissfully climaxes too, Todd simultaneously spurting his generative and genital love-juices onto the bedding beneath him. Alas, Todd never succeeds in making Frank his lover, or even his steady boyfriend. Despite his fixation on Frank, Todd also sustains his on-again, off-again strong relationship, on all levels, with Lucy (and Frank, much to Todd's chagrin, for a time also has a liaison with her), Lucy having been Todd's girlfriend since their college days together.

The trite fashion-chatter and the punchy phrasing help to summon up the high-energy but rather ruthlessly cynical world in which Todd has elected, for a time, to live and move in, and which, at the end of the novel, he abandons. Gooch's staccato prose is not a failure of style, by any means.
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Slaughterhouse-Five is my favorite novel but Scary Kisses is a more delicious read because I would not want to copulate with Billy Pilgrim. I would lick Todd and Lucy and maybe even Frank from head to toe. Lucy and Todd are my favorite literary couple. The way they love each other makes my idiot heart sing. I'm always buying this book for potential lovers but the wheel of fortune does not spin in my favor. My potential lovers disregard Scary Kisses and we don't hook up, after all. Still. I dream.
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Format: Paperback
I love that snazzily sizzling novel, "Scary Kisses", Brad Gooch's early sortie into writing fiction and getting it published. It seems to me to be "high camp", making much ado, with tongue in cheek, about the fashion world. Certainly Todd, the central male character, initially allows too much of his self-value to depend upon his ability to please the eye physically as he dresses up in fancy duds. He craves fame, even if it is in what for most of the public is the domain of seldom named, semi-anonymous (albeit attractive) fashion models. Todd pleases even more when he is buck-naked or very nearly so, variously; indeed, he finds that the "fashionistas" themselves best like him totally undressed!

Gooch depicts Todd's sexual ambiguity and longings very touchinginly, albeit through his rather dry-eyed approach to such matters of the heart. Todd craves Frank, the guy who faciliates Todd's initial break into fashion modelling and who finally seduces and sexually penetrates Todd as the lad blissfully climaxes too, Todd simultaneously spurting his generative and genital love-juices onto the bedding beneath him. Alas, Todd never succeeds in making Frank his lover, or even his steady boyfriend. Despite his fixation on Frank, Todd also sustains his on-again, off-again strong relationship, on all levels, with Lucy (and Frank, much to Todd's chagrin, for a time also has a liaison with her), Lucy having been Todd's girlfriend since their college days together.

The trite fashion-chatter and the punchy phrasing help to summon up the high-energy but rather ruthlessly cynical world in which Todd has elected, for a time, to live and move in, and which, at the end of the novel, he abandons. Gooch's staccato prose is not a failure of style, by any means.
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