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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
Readers R Us! I should join a reading club or something. (--; 
25th-Oct-2005 11:11 am
Follow this link to an excellent review site for gay and homoerotic fiction, covering over 100 novels. The selection is biased in the direction of UK releases and authors. An excellent resource.

Ames, Jonathan. Wake Up, Sir!. New York: Scribner, 2004.
Summary: Aspiring gentleman, distracted novelist, and alcoholic Alan Blair recently received a settlement for a quarter of a million dollars and decides to hire a valet, whose name just happens to be Jeeves. Together, the two travel from Alan's aunt and uncle's house in Montclair, New Jersey to Sharon Springs, New York, and then to Saratoga Springs, New York to join an artist's enclave. He does not find true love, much time to write, a cure for his alcoholism, or even an answer to any of his burning Questions, but he does manage to become an almost-thief. Thankfully, Jeeves is by his side right up until the end.
Comments: A continuation of sorts to Ames's previous novel, The Extra Man, as the narrator claims to have lived with the incorrigible walker and is intent upon writing a book about him. It's kind of sad to hear that their relationship did not survive, but I guess I'm not surprised. It's hard to live with eccentric, high-strung people for the long haul, and I say this with personal experience. However, some of the details are different, including the names of the main characters and their primary vices. Louis was a "tranny chaser" while Alan is an alcoholic. (One gets the feeling that the author himself might be all of these things...and more.) Regardless, the reason for both is the same--a craving for defilement. This new novel is a definite improvement in form. In The Extra Man, Ames spends a great deal of time characterizing the complicated Henry while really meaning to tell you about Louis. This time, the hero's companion is a similarly bracing but much flatter personality who does not get in the way of the ruminations of who we know is REALLY important. (The implication of the title is that Jeeves is the only one keeping Alan's feet on the ground. The story begins and ends with the same phrase.) The alcoholism is written quite convincingly, while the brief surrealist scenes late in the novel are not--and the one where the bust disappears and the slippers appear in their place just didn't work well and went a long way toward ruining the climax of the book. In any case, this was a diverting read, and if Ames writes any more fiction novels in the future, I'll probably read them at some point.
Notes: hardcover, 1st edition
Rating: 6.5/10 - This isn't timeless, classic literature, I but I think you'll like it. It's endearing in its own, quirky way.
29th-Oct-2005 10:16 pm (UTC)
Review archived.
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