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Florida by Olivier Bourdeaut

Updated: Apr 2, 2021

2021, Finitude

Not available in English (yet)

I picked this book up at the grocery store just to see what it was about. I'd read the author's first book Waiting for Bojangles when it came out in 2015 and really liked it.

I had a feeling this one wouldn't be quite as good and I was right. I was happy when it was over, but nevertheless did want to read it to the end. (Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but I'm not saying to NOT read it...)

The author attacks the wanna-be-star culture, portraying the sickness inherent in a society where for too many, fame is the goal of life.

From age 7, Elizabeth is taken by her mother every weekend to Mini-Miss America competitions, where young girls with fake eyelashes, fake bras and even botoxed faces attempt to win a crown and the attendant glory. But eventually Elizabeth rebels and seeks vengeance.

The author has no empathy for the characters, focusing on the ugliness of the story, nonetheless, it's easy to read and has interesting insights.

I enjoyed the reflections on the art world through Elizabeth's experiences with down-and-out photographer friend Alec, who is convinced by art dealer, Agatha Christik, (!), to totally change the meaning of his artwork because it will sell better. There is a lot of humor here after all, so if an English version is published (the novel takes place in Florida so it would only be fair) and you have some beach time ahead of you, well then, why not?

Post on Waiting for Bojangles by same author here.

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