Monday, January 02, 2006

BOOKS: The Boys in the Brownstone

One of my Christmas gifts was the Kevin Scott novel "The Boys in the Brownstone", and I was given the perfect opportunity to curl up with it on New Years Eve, when my husband was out working, and I was home alone during a rainstorm-induced power outage. Nothing to do but pour a glass of eggnog, light some candles, and read this entertaining story. The Brownstone is a gay bar on the Upper East Side, and the novel is really a series of tangential vignettes. Think "Desperate Housewives: Gay New York Edition". Each chapter introduces a new set of characters, and explores a different flawed relationship, but all of the characters end up at the Brownstone sooner or later, and featured characters in one vignette often appear on the sidelines of other vignettes. Sometimes in the bar, we revisit the same conversations from another character's perspective (like the film "Go"). The characters and stories were all engaging enough to keep me turning the pages with interest. The fact that it was set during Christmastime made it more fun to read it at this time of year, but that's certainly not essential. Reading it all in one weekend is useful, as the number of characters starts to accumulate, and there were a few times where I had to stop and think "now who was that one again?". Doubtful you'll glean any profound insights here, as it's all a bit melodramatic (all of the characters have issues). But it's very entertaining, a great read for a weekend at the beach or a long flight. Or a New Years Eve power outage.

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