The Body Double

Emily Beyda
3
Apr 9, 2020

This was a very odd read. It started weird, strange even, and then went full on psychological thriller and yet I find myself wondering what I just read. 

An unnamed woman is offered the chance to step into the life of a celebrity because she looks similar to Rosanna Feld, an actress who has gone into seclusion after a mental health crisis.  Rosanna can no longer go out in public to be photographed by the paparazzi or give interviews to help further her career.  Max offers her a chance to live the Hollywood life and is being paid handsomely to leave her old life behind.

She is left alone for days at a time to study film and read magazine interviews of Rosanna to get the feel of her walk, her talk, her mannerisms; to essentially become Rosanna Feld.

In the midst of her transformation into Rosanna Feld you find Max doesn't appear quite what he seems and yet she becomes who he wants her to be. 

Fascinating character study in obsession and the lengths a loner will go through to feel like someone.

"A strange man discovers our nameless narrator selling popcorn at a decrepit small-town movie theater and offers her an odd and lucrative position: she will forget her job, her acquaintances, even her name, and move to Los Angeles, where she will become the body double of the famous and troubled celebrity Rosanna Feld. A nervous breakdown has forced Rosanna out of the public eye, and she needs a look-alike to take her place in the tabloid media circus of Hollywood. Overseen by Max, who hired her for the job, our narrator spends her days locked up in a small apartment in the hills watching hidden camera footage of Rosanna, wearing Rosanna's clothes, eating the food Rosanna likes, practicing her mannerisms, learning to become Rosanna in every way. But as she makes her public debut as Rosanna, dining at elegant restaurants, shopping in stylish boutiques, and finally risking a dinner party with Rosanna's true inner circle, alarming questions begin to arise. What really caused Rosanna's mental collapse? Will she ever return? And is Max truly her ally, or something more sinister? With echoes of Hitchcock's Vertigo, The Body Double is a fabulously plotted noir about fame, beauty, and the darkness of Hollywood."--Amazon.com

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