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Plastic
by Frank Strausser

Published: 2019-07-09
Paperback : 312 pages
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“Hollywood satire meets crime fiction?an extremely Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup-style combination of two of our favorite flavors!”?Flavorwire

“Edgy. Pretty shocking. You wonder what the heck is going to happen!”?NPR

“A Raymond Chandleresque vivisection of Tinseltown’s ...

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Introduction

“Hollywood satire meets crime fiction?an extremely Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup-style combination of two of our favorite flavors!”?Flavorwire

“Edgy. Pretty shocking. You wonder what the heck is going to happen!”?NPR

“A Raymond Chandleresque vivisection of Tinseltown’s beautymakers.”?Noah Wyle, Theatre, TV, & Film Actor

Dr. Harry Previn, the renowned Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, is secretly called in to operate on the disfigured face of the ravishingly beautiful teen pop star Fay Wray following an assault. Surrounded by image makers who value beauty over all else, he soon fears Fay is in mortal danger. Will he risk everything to save her beauty, her life, or himself?
Plastic is a novel of psychological suspense about a heinous crime that leads to a desperate Hollywood cover up. Welcome to “The Capital of Good Looks,” an ephemeral world of celebrity and beauty crashing at the intersection of Hollywood and rock and roll.

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Excerpt

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Discussion Questions

Would you have called the police after first encountering Fay Wray if you were Previn, knowing that the publicity/exposure might injure her career/brand?

Do you think women are literally dying to be beautiful?

How conformist do you think our society is relative to ideas of beauty? Do you feel pressure to conform?

What does healing women with a knife mean to you?

Is this a story about image or beauty?

If Fay hadn’t disappeared from Previn’s home, do you think Helen would have tried to get rid of her? What do you think she thought of Fay and Previn’s relationship?

Given that Barone and Tout, see talent as brands, is their behavior understandable? Is it surprising?

Do the books theme and storylines seem familiar?

Do you think Helen had sex with Guy? Do you think it matters?

Do you think Helen’s critique of Previn was correct?

Is Fay Wray a victim or a heroine? What about the other women, including Helen?

How do you think story would have changed if the Previn was a female?

How do you think the current “body positive” campaigns will change society’s obsession with beauty at some time soon?

What character is your favorite? Any of them remind you of someone you know personally?

Do you think other parts of the US are as beauty obsessed as Los Angeles?

What do you think of the fact that Helen, wife of one of the most well-known plastic surgeons in Hollywood wasn’t getting any work done on herself?

Barone said to Previn, “they’ll call you “Dr. Mom Killer” ...,” Do you think Previn would have had a chance to come back from that?

“Her boyfriend walked out on her right after the operation. He disapproved of her implants. She was in a panic because she did it for him…” Previn said this to the psychiatrist after Rosie Bottoms was admitted to Psych ward. What are your thoughts on that? Do you think if he had given her more attention, she would’ve been fine?

“New face, same mother. It must be a difficult adjustment for some children…” Previn said that to Darlene Fallows whose son was having a hard time approving of her new nose. What after your thoughts on that? How do you think children with beauty obsessed mothers are being affected?

Why do you think Fay released the tape? Justice? Attention? To take away the attention from Velentine? To end it all and escape from the “Capital of Good Looks”?

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