1978: Lower East Side, New York. Fifteen-year-old Finn Earl's mother, Liz, is a thirty-two year-old masseuse with a taste for cocaine. When Liz's habit forces them to flee the city, they find protection under the wing of one her clients, ageing billionaire Mr Osborne. In Vlyvalle, a golden playground for the super-rich, Finn discovers a people who are stranger, more savage, and more secretive than any tribe in NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC. Offered a new life and new friends amongst the decadent and beautiful denizens of Osborne's empire, Finn falls in love and grows up fast. He's living a twisted approximation of the American dream - and for a moment everything he wants is there for the taking. But in America, social-climbing is a blood sport. Even on what should be the happiest night of Finn's life, on an island in the middle of a private lake, naked and high with Maya, Osborne's bewitching granddaughter, someone is watching him from the depths of the forest and laughing. A modern coming-of-age novel in the tradition of HUCKLEBERRY FINN, and a portrait of America as vivid and strange as THE GREAT GATSBY, FIERCE PEOPLE marks the emergence of a dazzling new talent.
- Paperback | 352 pages
- 153 x 234mm | 519g
- 30 Jun 2002
- Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
- London, United Kingdom
Wittenborn's first novel, as one might expect from a screenwriter, is ideal material for the big screen and film rights have reportedly been optioned. It's a coming of age story, laced with anthropological overtones, full of colourful characters with just the right amount of sex and suspense to keep the pages turning. Fifteen-year-old Finn Earl is the hero, son of a masseuse single mother with a taste for cocaine. After a bust, the two flee from New York's Lower East Side to the employment of one of her clients, the ageing billionaire Osborne. The idea of the spoilt rich as a "tribe" is not new, but survival in their cruel, hedonistic playground is handled with skill, while Wittenborn makes conscious reference to Sallinger and Twain. The result is clever and entertaining in equal measure.
About Dirk Wittenborn
Dirk Wittenborn is a screenwriter who lives in New York City.