Sunday, 25 November 2012
Author: Henry Denker
Year of publication: 1978, WH Allen edition 1979
Inner cover blurb: Henry Denkler, author of The Physicians, The Experiment and The Scofield Diagnosis, has now written a new and irresistibly exciting novel, The Actress.
The actress is Kit Lawrence - one of the most talented stars the theatre has known. She is beautiful, sensitive and possesses a magnetism and sexuality which drive men crazy. But she is a patient in an expensive psychiatric hospital having suffered a mental breakdown after several suicide attempts and a self-inflicted abortion. Kit, we learn, is the victim of an unhappy childhood and she is crying out for help.
The Actress is a gripping psychological drama of the attempt to bring Kit back to life by starring her in a play about her own life and problems - a play that will allow her to act out the innermost secrets and passions that have driven her to the brink of madness. Rehearsals are going well, and Kit's performance is going to be brilliant, but why is she unable and unwilling to act out the last scene?
As the tension mounts, the reader will become absorbed in the characters as a real-life drama is acted out on-stage. The ending is bound to touch the heart, too, as Henry Denkler skilfully portrays one woman's struggle to overcome emotional strife.
Quick flick reveals: Some serious melodramatic shlock. There's a very particular craziness you get from male authors writing primarily for the women's fiction market, and this book looks like it has it in spades.
Random paragraph: 'Winging that whole scene, from the moment we caught her bare-breasted. Covering up only when she saw me. Making up so beautifully just to walk back to the hotel and go to bed alone. If that's sick, I'd like to be sick."'