Fierce People by Dirk Wittenborn

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Synopsis

A modern coming-of-age novel about a boy's struggle for survival in a lush and corrupting world that each day grows more seductive and more lethal.

New York's Lower East Side, 1978. Fifteen-year-old Finn Earl's mother, Liz, is a thirty-two-year-old masseuse with a taste for cocaine. When Liz's habit reaches its breaking point, she seeks sanctuary with one of her clients, aging billionaire Ogden C. Osborne. Less than twenty-four hours later, she and Finn have been dropped into a world more savage than anything in National Geographic, more cutthroat than anything New York's grimy downtown streets have to offer-the exclusive rural community of Vlyvalle, New Jersey.

In this golden playground for the super-rich, they find a new life and new friends amongst the decadent and beautiful denizens of Osborne's empire. Finn falls in love and grows up fast. He's living a twisted approximation of the American dream-and for a moment everything he wants is there for the taking.

But in Vlyvalle, social climbing is a blood sport. Even on what should be the happiest night of Finn's life-on an island in the middle of Osborne's private lake, naked and high with Osborne's bewitching granddaughter Maya-someone is watching him from the depths of the forest...and laughing. Soon, Finn is tangled in a web of secrets and betrayals so bizarre and so dangerous that getting out starts to look even harder than getting in.
 

About Dirk Wittenborn

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Dirk Wittenborn is the author of two previous novels, Eclipse and Zoe. He has also written for Saturday Night Live and authored several screenplays. He lives in New York.
 
Published July 5, 2002 by Bloomsbury USA. 304 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Fierce People

Kirkus Reviews

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The narrative threatens to take an interesting turn when, on his way, finally, to do it with Maya, Finn is attacked and raped, but unfortunately he just takes it in smarmy stride: “I had been trying to lose my virginity, but not like this.” Wittenborn wants to be compared to Twain and Fitzgerald,...

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Publishers Weekly

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Life among the rich and twisted proves to be a difficult road to adulthood for young Finn Earl in Wittenborn's lurid and often bizarre coming-of-age yarn, which begins when the adolescent's

May 06 2002 | Read Full Review of Fierce People

The Guardian

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From then on, it's all plot, plot, plot as the thin veneer of civilisation that separates the inhabitants of Vlyvalle from the primitive tribe studied by Finn's anthropologist dad is stripped away to reveal - aha!

Jun 15 2002 | Read Full Review of Fierce People

Publishers Weekly

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Life among the rich and twisted proves to be a difficult road to adulthood for young Finn Earl in Wittenborn's lurid and often bizarre coming-of-age yarn, which begins when the adolescent's unstable mother, Liz, a New York City massage therapist, befriends a rich older client named Osborne.

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Entertainment Weekly

` FIERCE PEOPLE Dirk Wittenborn (Bloomsbury, $24.95) In 1978, 15-year-old Finn Earl and his flaky mom ditch a messy life in Manhattan and, relying on the kindness of a zillionaire, decamp for New Jersey's fox-hunting country.

Jul 12 2002 | Read Full Review of Fierce People

The Bookbag

For an absorbing read on a train or beach, Fierce People is a good choice – you'll gain some insights into the truly rich, but you may have to shut up and listen to the story as children are told when questioning the implausible.

Oct 24 2009 | Read Full Review of Fierce People

Reviewing the Evidence

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Feb 10 2013 | Read Full Review of Fierce People

Time Out New York

(Finn and Maya meet cute when she catches him—with a bear trap.) Later, Finn is raped by an anonymous attacker—a plot development that jolts Fierce People into the realm of flat-out nonsense.

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Variety

Soon mother and son, all charges dropped, are on their way to Osborne's estate in the country, chauffeured by Osborne's personal NYPD cop (Blu Mankuma).

Apr 27 2005 | Read Full Review of Fierce People

Reader Rating for Fierce People
70%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 16 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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