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Dan Hill.

Toronto, Seal Books, c1983.
310pp, paper, $7.95.
ISBN 0-7704-41841-4.

Grades 12 and up.
Reviewed by Sue Easun.

Volume 12 Number 3
1984 May

Perhaps you have wondered along with me why it is that people who feel they have a personal statement to make and do not wish to take the chance of having it called autobiography invariably turn to fiction, where all they need worry about is an absorbing plot and a cast of unforgettable characters. If we assume that the plot is absorbing (in this case a young groupie goes to court claiming she was raped by her idol) and the characters indeed unforgettable (a sensitive rock star shown to be a pawn of the music industry in much the same way as the tender but misguided teen is of her manipulative media-hungry mother), what then is the missing essential ingredient?

In a word: relevance. Hill's "personal statement" has been shamefully robbed of the greater context in which it was developed, and we cannot truly witness that sensitive young rock star's ineffectual struggle against sensationalism, because we ourselves are thrust too quickly into the same milieu. Great pains are taken (and appreciated, I might add) to explain that what goes on in those recording studios is more concerned with money than magic, and I would be greatly amiss if I did not say these were insights of a more profound nature than I had expected. Good fiction, however, cannot be sustained on insights alone, it must pertain to some grand design, some flaw in nature or society or the individual, that when it draws out our sympathies is able to replace them with some understanding of the reason we have been willing to give them so readily. Sex is always an excellent attention-getter but often no more than a brief act in the course of a human life; it would have been incomparably refreshing to be shown how this particular act was not only inevitable, but a degrading experience on more than a physical level for all concerned. Our impressionable young will easily pick up on the first point, but I fear need a steadier hand than Hill's to help them recognize and avoid the dreaded pitfalls of the second. Not recommended.

Sue Easun, Toronto, ON.
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