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Article

Book Review: 'Original Color'

Posted on

Original Color

type:
Book
Current Status:
In Season
author:
Hugh Kennedy
publisher:
Doubleday
genre:
Fiction

We gave it an A-

Contrary to popular opinion, life is not, in fact, like a box of chocolates, but rather like an old-master art auction: You can be pretty sure of what you’re going to get, as long as you’re willing to pay the price. The life Original Color‘s protagonist, Fred Layton, wants is that of a high-flying fine-print dealer, so he starts out as an errand boy and works his way up to codirector of a gallery. The price Layton pays for his rise is, predictably, his soul. Hugh Kennedy has a fast, breathless style, which suits the fast, breathless world about which he writes, and a keen sense of detail: The art dealer’s wife ”gushed with the sort of social warmth learned entirely by rote”; an ex-cocaine dealer ”had one of those faces on which everything had gone right.” This book is like a box of chocolates, albeit one spiked with brandy — addictive and highly consumable, from first bite to last. A-

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