Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Vapor” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  243 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
Soon to be a major motion picture directed by Neil LaBute and starring Renee Zellweger, this is a surreal love story from the author of Nude Men. Now in paperback, Amanda Filipacchi's quirky comic romance gives aspiring actress Anna Graham a makeover that no reader will ever forget. Anna's payback for rescuing the eccentric scientist Damon Wetly from a subway mugger is imp ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published July 1st 2003 by Carroll & Graf (first published January 1st 1999)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Vapor, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Vapor

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 603)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Betsy Robinson

I was so enamored of Filipacchi’s book The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty that I wanted to read more by her. Vapor, her second book, was published in 1999, and the technique is not as mature as the 2015 book, but still . . .

That spark and originality, that voice is apparent. The writing reminds me of my playwriting heroes, Harold Pinter and Samuel Beckett. In its stylization, it distills human behavior. And there is an easy flow of sudden insights:

In case it isn’t clear what sparks of brillia
Apr 21, 2016 Scott rated it it was amazing
Shelves: keepers
Okay, This ties with Nude Men as my favorite Filipacchi book. It is llke reading a Dali or Magritte painting. So strangely fantastical which just makes things beautiful. It is not a heavy book at all, yet I was near to a complete emotional breakdown by the a good way! If you love surreality...better yet, if you love reading about deep nuances of being a human, this is a must read.
Aug 27, 2014 Gaele rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
An interesting construct of satire and fantasy, the slow development and near deadpan delivery of the narrative belie the pointed and often amusing jabs taken at all things ‘celebrity’ and the compulsions that often override sense and humanity in the quest for fame at all costs.

Anna is a middle of the road person – not a great actress, not a great thinker, not particularly gorgeous or even talented: but her overwhelming desire and obsession is to become a famous and lauded actress. Essentially
Feb 11, 2013 Wesley rated it really liked it
Review Summary: Without a doubt, one of the strangest books I have ever read. Interestingly written with an immediate appeal, an unfortunately slow build-up, but just enough intrigue to keep me reading and surprisingly serious revelations at the end.

The first line is great: "For months I had been trying to be less myself." But the story didn't pick up until about a third of the way through, which is way longer than I'm used to waiting. I would've put the book down had it not been for the great
Ron Charles
Dec 11, 2013 Ron Charles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amanda Filipacchi's latest novel, "Vapor," is hard to pin down. This satire of America's celebrity culture blows by with strangely mingled scents of sadness and comedy.

In a deadpan narrative voice that belies the novel's humor, Filipacchi tells the surreal story of a talentless but ambitious acting student named Anna Graham.

An anagram may be "the actor of words," but Anna Graham displays no such versatility. "For months I had been trying to be less myself," she laments. Her blunt acting teacher
I am sure that many other reviewers have said this of Amanda Filipacchi's second book `VAPOR' but it certainly is by far the strangest book that I have ever read! And I loved every minute of it!

Definitely a departure from the norm the only thing I can assure you about `VAPOR' is that you will either love it or hate it, I doubt that there will be any in between. I loved it and recommend it just to hear others reactions to it although when asked I am unable to give a just description of it without
Aug 24, 2016 Stereo rated it it was amazing
This book was so strange, often disturbing, beautiful, and completely engrossing.
Nicole Overmoyer
I reached the 36% mark of Amanda Filipacchi's VAPOR and I couldn't go any further. I'm giving it two stars because I'm kind of surprised I got that far.

It's a book about a woman who badly, very badly wants to be an actress. Then she saves a very strange man who complains about the pH in water a lot. Turns out this guy makes "clouds" ... I don't know why. At 36%, I realized I don't really care why. He kidnaps her to repay her for saving him. At 36% she decided she was relatively fine with being k
Nov 27, 2011 Brandy rated it it was amazing
Vapor is the story of a wannabe actress who saves an experimental scientist's life when he is attacked in a subway tunnel. He decides to pay her back by making her dreams come true, focusing primarily on her desire to become a successful actress. Vapor is the story of delusion, love, kidnapping, cloud making, tragedy, insanity and so much more. To be honest, about a quarter of the way into this book, I wasn't sure if I liked its direction or protagonist very much. I should say that I absolutely ...more
Dec 25, 2012 S. rated it liked it
Shelves: dutchess
as per the entry above/back cover description, this is a "captive love" book, where the guy keeps the girl captive, at least with some sort of twist-- he's a cloud scientist and uses his magical realism technique in a variation of the Pygmalion myth; variant of other "captive love-slave" stories.

at worst, the book is a sort of extended unattractive girl's fantasy; "what if a guy kept me captive so that I could lose some weight!". at best, Filipacchi has a pert new Yorker's sense of prose; I thin
Jenn Ballmann
Aug 15, 2014 Jenn Ballmann rated it it was ok
I was sent a copy of the book for review though Net Galley, as always, all opinions are my own.

I don’t even know where to begin with this book, it’s so odd that I ended up putting it down several times before ultimately giving up on it completely. I’m not sure I really enjoy Filipacchi’s writing style, the book goes all topsy-turvy and the plot is very hard to follow at times.
Helen Smith
Aug 14, 2014 Helen Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: surreal-comedy
Amanda Filipacchi's work has been praised by Tama Janowitz and Edmund White. If that gets your attention, you'll love this bizarre, witty, clever book. It's the surreal story of an aspiring actress who works part-time in a photocopy shop and part-time piercing ears in a jewellery store in New York. She has been told by her acting coach that she will never make it as an actress because she's too much herself: she needs to get go of her personality to succeed in her roles. One day in the subway, s ...more
Lolly K Dandeneau
Dec 14, 2008 Lolly K Dandeneau rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Loved it. Vapor was one hell of a quirky little book. For days I looked at clouds differently. It's going to be a movie and I read somewhere that Ralph Fiennes is in it, and to me he seems a perfect fit. I wasn't as excited about Filipacchi's other books, they are all original but Vapor really had it's hooks in me. I stayed up all night reading it about a month ago and will likely return to it in the future as I do my favorites. I will admit, the anagram at the end stomped and annoyed me to no e ...more
I would like to thank Open Road Media for the ARC via NetGalley.

It's somehow difficult to express myself coherently and with authority, since I'm usually not big on romance, but this particular book is an extremely engaging and peculiar blend of genres - there's humour, there's magic realism, there are curious interpersonal relationships, and the general course it takes is a road less-travelled, or at least better-executed than imaginable under the circumstances. It's bold, curious, entertaining
Stephanie Tuvera
Jul 09, 2015 Stephanie Tuvera rated it it was amazing
I'm writing a review only now.

Superbly engaging. When I was reading it, I couldn't put the book down even if I was being called to eat dinner or do whatever. I highly recommend it to everyone. Although you have to have some strange and high imagination for this one. It requires you to. It may be a little sick (especially with the things the guy does to the lady protagonist, you may even feel pity for her), but the love story is just too hopeful and powerful no matter how crazy and twisted their
May 09, 2015 Justine rated it liked it
It was barely ok. I didn't enjoy the story - very weird and at times disturbing. The redeeming quality is that it was completely original.
Jul 25, 2014 Emeka rated it it was amazing
A sad, strange and beautiful love affair
One of my very favourite books.
If you have a romantic bent, it's definitely worth a shot
Apr 24, 2014 Terrill rated it really liked it
This author is so creative and bizarre. . . . it's sad she's only written three books.
Mar 15, 2015 Jenny rated it it was ok
Read only if you're in the mood for a very, very strange story that's not written very well.
May 19, 2007 Lis rated it liked it
Shelves: 2007-reads
This was a light, enjoyable read, despite it being a story about a kidnapped woman. It saved my life the day jury duty called, actually. Some things seemed far-fetched and you decide to go along with it, but inevitably you hit some points where your mind goes, "WTF?" I had questions, though, that never got answered. It leaves you thinking there's a sequel, but apparently there isn't, so I guess I don't really know what happened. Anyone figure out the end, please let me know.
Jul 22, 2012 LS rated it it was amazing
Shelves: realbooks
I bought this book for Php 10.00 (roughly 20 cents) from Booksale (a local second-hand books store). I didn't think it was special; I just thought it was super cheap. Plus, the cover looked good.

Oh boy, the content WAS NOT cheap. It made me laugh, made me smile, it made me bite my lip. I finished this book in less than a day, even less if you don't count the 8 hours I used to sleep. It was THAT GOOD. I simply couldn't put it down.
Apr 20, 2008 Holly rated it it was ok
Odd little book. Sex, death, meteorology, wish fulfillment, manipulation and some twisted psychology combined in a strange little pop pulp piece. I can't exactly recommend it, but I wouldn't mind discussing it with someone [anyone??] who has read it. Upon completing it, my overall impression was, Meh, but I am still thinking about it so I guess that means it's got some deeper themes than I thought? Or maybe I am just bored today.
Christopher Roberts
Sep 28, 2016 Christopher Roberts rated it it was amazing
Shelves: magic-realism, satire
The gap between our desires and our true happiness is what is explored in this novel. Such a big subject would have defeated most authors but Filipachi delivers something that is truly unique and devastating. It has the same sense that anything can happen as her book Nude Men, but overall she has matured as a writer and this book is more focused and if possible a little deeper than her previous effort.
Miss Ruth
Jul 13, 2012 Miss Ruth rated it it was amazing
Possibly one of my favorite love stories, since it's incredibly twisted. If you plan to read this book, I suggest that you don't look at spoilers so you can enjoy the firsthand reaction of "WTF!". Everything that happens is nothing you could ever imagine thus making it dodge the "Predictable Romance" category. It's so unreal it will leave you feeling refreshed.
Jun 07, 2007 Kendra rated it liked it
Shelves: beachreads
This is a quirky and enjoyable read. A fun summer book that is nothing if unpredictable. I'm not sure what originally attracted me to this book, or what reminded me of it today. But I would recommend it, especially if you could use a light-hearted dose of satire about pursuing your own version of the American dream.
Notcathy J
Aug 31, 2007 Notcathy J rated it really liked it
Cathy said this was really good, but she was annoyed because there's an anagram you have to figure out at the end. Okay, she wasn't that annoyed that it was there. She said, we've seen it before, in Popco and House of Leaves, she was annoyed because she hasn't figured it out yet.
Feb 01, 2008 Wisteria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ik las het boek in het Nederlands: IN DE WOLKEN.
Een geweldig inventief boek met een onverwacht liefdesverhaal: een meisje leert een jongen kennen en eindigt met een wolkje dat ze overal liefdevol mee naartoe neemt.
Tweede roman, na MANNELIJK NAAKT, ook een voltreffer!
Nov 06, 2009 Ari rated it liked it
This author has an interesting way of writing. She almost incorporates fantasy into normal fiction. It's hard to get used to, and at first I didn't enjoy it. But,t he story behind it makes it really interesting.
Oct 06, 2011 Jwezi rated it really liked it
Shelves: faves, intriguing
i actually just grab this book from the bookstore. This has a weird story but this one is hilarious. its like out of this world and really refreshing.
Jan 03, 2008 Michelle rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Michelle by: johnny
i loved the magicalness and strangeness of this book. somehow, the completely unrealistic seemed totally natural.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 20 21 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
final anagram? (spoilers) 1 17 Apr 26, 2009 12:22PM  
  • The Ascent of Everest
  • Wild Animus
  • The Paper Eater
  • In the Night Cafe
  • Shoveling Smoke
  • Splitting
  • Sweet as Cane, Salty as Tears
  • Birdsong: Fifty-Three Short Poems
  • Trash Trio: Three Screenplays
  • Termite Parade
  • The Pillow Friend
  • Girlfriend 44
  • Shadows on our Skin
  • New, Improved! Dykes to Watch Out For (DtWOF, #3)
  • The Chumash: The Stone Edition, Full Size (ArtScroll) (English and Hebrew Edition) The Torah: Haftaros and Five Megillos with a Commentary Anthologized from the Rabbinic Writings
  • Permanent Obscurity: Or a Cautionary Tale of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography and Death
  • American Thighs: The Sweet Potato Queens' Guide to Preserving Your Assets
  • The Thinking Body
Amanda Filipacchi is the author of three previous novels, Nude Men, Vapor, and, most recently, Love Creeps. Her writing has appeared in Best American Humor and elsewhere. She lives in New York.
More about Amanda Filipacchi...

Share This Book

“When I asked him for some explanation as to why he wanted to kill me, he said it was because he didn't like his jobs. When I asked him since when had he not liked his jobs, he said since always. When I remarked that he had never told me this, and that I had gotten the impression that he had liked them, he said: "How is that possible? You know me. Do I strike you as stupid or boring?"
"Then how could you think I would enjoy being an etiquette expert, or a Weight Watchers' counselor, or a stripper? How could you think that someone like me, with my mind, my character, would derive any satisfaction from those things?”
More quotes…