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The Mentor Mass Market Paperback – October 31, 2000


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (October 31, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553580310
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553580310
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 4.2 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,173,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Containing traces of The Babysitter, Gaslight, All About Eve and Deathtrap, Stuart's debut psychological thriller creates a wholly original, believable drama out of an archetypal love triangle involving a broken-down literary "genius," his mentally unstable but devoted prot?g? and his icy wife. Novelist Charles Davis was once New York's literary wunderkind, but that was more than two decades ago. Now 49 and bruised from a series of flops, he is sure his newest novel will be a hit: "Through some confluence of good fortune, DeLillo, Banks and Ford are all absent from this fall's list. There's room for him at the top. Again, after all these years." His wife, Anne Turner, is 13 years younger, a marketing hotshot and media celeb, head of an upscale housewares catalogue. One of Manhattan's most glamorous couples, they hit the skids in public when Charles's book is viciously panned in the New York Times Book Review, and he sinks into depression. Anne hires mousy but efficient temp secretary Emma Bowles to restore order to Charles's disheveled office. But Emma is a seriously troubled young woman who calls herself the "BadGirlSickGirl," and is running from a horrifying past. The story picks up speed while lingering exquisitely on eerie plot twists as Charles seduces Emma, and Anne's suspicions heighten. Discovering that Emma is writing her own novel, creatively blocked Charles "helps" her, while endeavoring to steal it, but he must make sure that his quickly disintegrating muse/workhorse will stay sane enough to keep writing. Meanwhile, Anne is pregnant, but Charles probably isn't the father, and Charles's own beloved mentor, his most trusted friend, is the only person who senses, and threatens to spoil, Charles's plagiarist scheme. The unraveling of the plot is ultra-stylish, equal parts ghoulish and cavalier; in Stuart's sharply observed Manhattan, an air of bemused morbidity festers amid the swanky circles of publishing and publicity, and the ambitious souls of the three main characters are creepily, masterfully authentic. BOMC alternate selection; rights sold in the U.K. (Nov.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

In his first novel, Stuart moves a familiar, suspenseful plot to a surprising conclusion. Charles and Anne Davis seem to have the perfect life together. Charles is a renowned author whose first book made him a literary legend, and Anne runs a successful, upscale catalog company. Unfortunately, Charles has not been able to repeat the commercial and critical success he achieved with his first book 25 years before. In fact, his most recent effort has received savage reviews, and he is lashing out at Anne. Even though she is dealing with stress in her own work, Anne wants to help Charles. Enter Emma Bowles, the awkward young woman Anne hires to be his assistant. Charles becomes fascinated and then obsessed with Emma. Each step in Stuart's set-up is carefully written, so that the reader seems sure to know where the book will end. But Stuart successfully turns the tale on its head, creating complex relationships along the way. Recommended for larger public libraries.AJane Jorgenson, Madison P.L., WI
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

The Mentor is one of the best debut author novels I have read in a long time.
James N Simpson
Perhaps "The Mentor" would have worked better as a short fiction, rather than a full-length book.
Christian
It has enough twists and twisted characters to keep you hooked from the get-go.
K. S. Alpert

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 16, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Although bits and pieces of this book sound familiar at times--Gaslight? All About Eve? Deathtrap?-- it's a really fun read. Short chapters and steamroller plot make it a perfect on-the-bus-to-work book. You don't exactly like any of the characters, but they're always doing something interesting or unexpected. And you can't really predict how the plot is going to turn out. I had it figured all wrong. The book is creepy one minute and bitchy the next, so you're always in for something entertaining. It's the ultimate quick read. I don't read a lot of "thrillers" but this one seemed much better written than the few others I've sampled. Maybe not great literature, but great entertainment.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 9, 1999
Format: Hardcover
From the opening line, "New York is Emma's obsession" to the unpredictable ending, this book is a delight. The author takes you to the troubled heart of each character with insight and humor. The story reveals the need for status that drives New York's elite and the fear of humiliation that they mask with their facile sophistication. A compassionate picture of human desire. Fast-paced and compelling. Read it in one sitting. Waiting for the next one.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By K. S. Alpert on December 13, 1999
Format: Hardcover
S. Stuart's The Mentor is a fast-paced, sharp-edged thoroughly enjoyable thriller set in the ego-driven world of New York's literary glitterati. It has enough twists and twisted characters to keep you hooked from the get-go. Since there's no real hero in the book, you never know who's going to emerge victorious... which is why I had to stay up all night to finish it. This is a really fun holiday read-- and if you thought your family was bad, get a load of these people. And kudos to the author for a great surprise ending!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Desoer VINE VOICE on July 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
None of the main characters in "The Mentor" are "good" people, beyond approach. On the contrary, they are significantly flawed, which lends to an interesting story.
Charles Davis is a once-heralded novelist, whose recent works have received progressively less-glowing reviews. His wife hires a temp who she met at her office to assist her husband organize his office. When Charles discovers that the efficient temp is writing her own, promising novel, he takes her under his wing, and simultaneously pries into her hidden past.
While some elements may seem predictable, the twists and turns make this a tight, fast-paced read. You are not sure with whom your sympathies lie at various points in the book, which, to me, made the book very interesting. This is definitely a very good read if you like psychological thrillers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Laura Tannen on November 30, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Yes, some of the plot points of The Mentor are predictable, and others are implausible. But you'll probably enjoy the twists in the book.
Not one of the three main characters is totally likable, and the two characters who are admirable don't fare very well (both older females). But the reader does get caught up in the story. At 244 pages, this novel is only a few lunch hours long, and certainly worth that investment.
I like thrillers, and this book is part thriller, part domestic-disharmony novel. It's set in New York, among the glamorous folk, but very soon we also meet BadGirlSickGirl. Don't want to spoil it for you, so I'll just say that eventually it's hard to tell which character reaches the highest degree of Bad.
The book is not can't-put-it-down great, but is definitely quick and enjoyable. It's also Stuart's first novel, and I like it well enough to read whatever he writes next.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover
If you are looking for something fast-paced with a little action this is a good choice. I read it in one sitting and wished there was more. The characters were interesting. Real good travel reading!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Yesterday I started The Mentor, and last night I had a serious decision to make: would I keep on reading, or would I get outside and take a good look at the lunar eclipse? I seriously did not want to put this book down. Yes, it's a thriller, but it also offers some wry commentary on the high price of fame. I give high marks to this contemporary take on Faust.
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Format: Hardcover
The only real disappointment in Sebastian Stuart's debut thriller, "The Mentor," is that his entire cast of characters isn't murdered. Unfortunately, it's a happy ending that doesn't happen.
So much for sympathizing with characters. But Stuart deftly guides us through the celebrity-obsessed Manhattan swirl (where his friendliest figure is a savvy literary agent) and the media mayhem (where the worst thing that can happen to a writer is a snippy review in the *New York Times.*) He stuffs the tale with enough name-dropping and publishing-insider details to give it authenticity, and certainly doesn't glamorize the shallow little world his characters occupy.
The fact is, "The Mentor" is a pleasing entertainment, occasionally witty and completely accessible. Okay, so you secretly hope these characters find a way to pull off a spectacular three-way murder. In the standard version, all inflated with heroic happysmoke, they would. But it doesn't happen, so by definition, "The Mentor" has an unexpected ending. That's just part of the thrill.
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