Fame is the only thing worth having. Love istemporary brain damage. Or so thinks Henry Sinclair, a failing psychiatrist,whose career-breaking discovery has been pinched by a supervisor smelling ofnipple grease and hot-dog brine. An emotional miser and manipulator parexcellence, desperate for the recognition he’s certain his genius deserves,Henry claws his way into the limelight by transforming his girlfriend-asinger-in-ascendance, beloved for her cathartically raw performances-into adrug experiment. As he systematically works to reinforce feelings ofworthlessness while at the same time feeding off Astrid’s fame, and as Astridcollapses deeper into dependence, what emerges is a two-sided toxicrelationship: the bullying instincts of a man shrunk by an industry wherebullying is currency, and the peculiar strength of a star more comfortableoffloading her talent than owning her brilliance. Pinging between theirapartment in New York (where they watch endless episodes of The Sopranos), a nudist campsite inGreece (where the tantalizingly handsome Gigi thwacks octopi into the sand),and a celebrity rehab facility in Paris (founded by the cassock-wearing andsex-scandal plagued ‘artist’ Hypno Ray), WhatYou Could Have Won is a relationship born of regrettable events, and anovel about female resilience in the face of social control.
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