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Exposure by Mal Peet


by Mal Peet

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While I liked Peet’s style in ‘Keeper, I didn’t much like the fantasy element so I found ‘Exposure’ a more convincing and interesting novel for teenagers. Initially I wondered how Peet wanted the reader to feel about Otello as I’d started feeling somewhat negatively towards him, buying a new Hummer as he did, but then I realised Peet was wanting to show how a simple footballer can just have his personal life undermined by his success on the field and of course by the Iago in his world, now Diego. I’ll have to reread ‘Othello’ to pick up more closely what Peet has done with it. I certainly like Peet style again. Regardless of the way the separation into acts and scenes might be a bit superficial in drawing a connection with Shakespeare’s play, the small segments make this plot driven novel easy to read. I like the way we have several different perspectives. Bush was an interesting character and Faustino again, especially in the way he feels he can’t help Felicia and Bush. The Desmerelda/Otello marriage became interesting too. Not sure about the epilogue. In one aspect it avoids sentimentality but in another strand it’s all a bit too neat. Still, I like the way Peet raises lots of issues in this book, from the price of celebrity to the plight of street children in a South American country. The third person limited narration, broken now and then by an authorial comment, works well too. ( )
  evening | Dec 16, 2011 |
Othello is a famous soccer star. Transferred to a different club, he encounters racism and hatred. He marries a popstar, daughter of a very popular man who is very upset by the match. Othello and Desmeralda become the "It" couple, until a manufactured scandal and a ravenous press bring Othello down. ( )
  lilibrarian | Oct 11, 2011 |
An incredibly fast paced novel about a super star soccer player who gets sucked into the world of the paparazzi when he marries famous young woman. Peet's writing is strong, thoughtful and moving. Exposure is an excellent look into the pressures of being a famous athlete, and how someone could get trapped in that world. The end is part sweet and part sad, but in a very good way. ( )
  callmecayce | Oct 15, 2010 |
Booklist (August 2009 (Vol. 105, No. 22))
Grades 9-12. In his third novel about Paul Faustino, a sports journalist in an unnamed South American country, Peet borrows heavily from Othello in a sophisticated commentary on contemporary society. Otello is a dark-skinned soccer star whose rapid love affair with Desmerelda, the white daughter of a business tycoon, leads to a marriage that captures their nation’s attention. Otello’s agent, Diego, maintains all appearances of trustworthy competence, even as he calculates the blood-chilling downfall of his client. Faustino and a band of street children aren’t always well-integrated into the plot, but the young orphans’ stories of gritty survival form a vital, real-world counterpoint to Otello and Desmerelda’s glittering life. As in his previous Faustino books, Keeper (2005) and The Penalty (2007), Peet’s prose is both lyrical and unflinching (a few characters use racial slurs, including the n word). Teens who know the original tragedy will delight in the myriad clever allusions. But Peet’s novel stands alone as a bold exploration of ageless themes of power, fame, love, and trust, all seen through the deceptive lens of modern celebrity culture.
  isln_reads | Sep 1, 2010 |
5* The sudden and controversial marriage of Otello, South America's most popular soccer star, to Desmerelda, the white pop star daughter of a right wing politician, propels the couple to even greater adoration by the nation. When a young street girl is found murdered, Paul Faustino, South America's top sports journalist witnesses the impact of a trial by media. So powerful is Peet's writing that one feels and smells the stench of life on the streets, the insurmountable social divide between rich and poor and the undeniable corruption that slithers through the fast pulse of life. A great read! ( )
  novanews | Jun 14, 2010 |
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The sudden and controversial marriage of Otello (black, star footballer) and Desmerelda (white, pop star, daughter of a right wing politician) propels them centre stage under the media spotlight. But celebrity attracts enemies. When a young girl is murdered, Paul Faustino, South America's top sports journalist, witnesses the power of the media in creating and breaking lives. Suggested level: secondary.… (more)

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