“A brilliant site-survey of contemporary Manhattan manners. Perhaps more importantly, [Hamilton] has written a book that makes one laugh out loud for minutes at a time. . . . He writes in a fashion similar to, and every bit as successful as, Tom Wolfe.” The Wall Street Journal
The Lap of Luxury
Atlantic Monthly Press
978-0-87113-342-7 • $8.95 • Paperback • Jan. 1990
dazzling social satire maps the terra
incognita of New York’s upper crust—an elegant jungle inhabited by a
blue-blooded heiress and her handsome young artist, ladies who lunch and men
who drink, blind ambition, trust funds, social climbers, Christie’s auctions
galore and some very refined deviousness.
Booth, our well-meaning hero, having lost his artistic ambition to the comforts
of café society and genteel employment, at last engages himself in the
passionate pursuit of sex, money, and power, even though he can’t always tell
them apart. His wife’s money has gained him entrée to everywhere he’s wanted to
be, and the gentle life has suited him well. Now, however, he wants to be in
the arms of his mistress, the beautiful and sophisticated daughter of a
Hollywood legend, who isn’t quite sure where she wants to be—although the
morning slot on the leading network looks good, assuming she can break off her
affair with the producer by using the same preternatural grace that began it.
And Vincent’s secret hopes, pinned on a priceless painting being auctioned for
a song, might well be dashed by treachery from a different quarter, his overly
fond and too often snubbed superior at the museum. As these various collision
courses rattle the crystal at some of the city’s finer restaurants and posher
homes, it seems that sooner or later almost everyone in The Lap of Luxury is
a little too much in the know.
Vincent. After losing his job, his fortune, and the woman he (and several other
men in the greater metropolitan area) thinks he loves, he hits rock bottom. How
all this comes to pass, and how he finds his feet afterward, is the stuff of
the wisest and wittiest entertainment imaginable.