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Exposure by Mal Peet


by Mal Peet

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Narrated by Christopher Lane. Otello and Desmerelda are the toast of the media. Otello is a famous South American soccer star and Desmerelda is a pop princess and daughter of a powerful conservative politician. He is black and she white, adding to the controversy and star power of their pairing. Behind the scenes of their glamorous romance however, Otello's agent Diego schemes to undermine his own client. Lane expertly unspools this story with a variety of nuances. He coos as Desmerelda, becomes measured as the scheming Diego, and deliberate during Faustino's thoughtful moments. He's a good reader but I have to say the story started to feel long for me and I never quite understood why Diego undermined his own client in such a dramatic way, other than he's just a sadist. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
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 |
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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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