Margot Mifflin
February 04, 1994 AT 05:00 AM EST

The dedication of this vicious first novel (”for Bret Ellis”) should be taken as a warning. The story of Emery Roberts, a movie star who abandons the set of a $40 million film to hide out with other Hollywood fugitives in a Vermont farmhouse, Pool is a hateful exercise in sustained glibness, intended as an indictment of Tinseltown. Evidently, someone in Brat Pack 101 forgot to tell this not untalented author that creating shallow and insipid characters isn’t the same as parodying shallow and insipid people. Roberts and his terminally jaded friends drink, drug, scoff at the locals, and sneer at the industry, which, Sahgal wants you to know, is corrupt. As the singer Leonard Cohen once wrote, ”If these thoughts interest you for even a moment/you are lost.” D

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