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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
Well, ya just knew that my lucky streak of late with great novels couldn't last, right? 
7th-Jan-2006 10:10 pm
And this one takes the cake of all-time stinkers.

Indeed, this book repulsed me on the Adam & Steve level--so bad, so MUNDANELY bad that I couldn't even enjoy slapping it around in my head for its horrors...except worse because I couldn't figure out whether or not the author was entirely sincere in the treatment of his characters.

If there is respite to be found anywhere, God Almighty PLEASE let me know!

Wilcox, James. Plain and Normal. New York: Little, Brown, 1998.
Summary: S. Lloyd Norris has decided that he wants to live an open, honest life, but, even though he's gay, he just can't seem to make a clean break with his ex-wife Pearl Fay. 250+ pages later, his wife is having his boss-cum-subordinate's baby, and he wants to remarry and raise the child together. Except that there's a Jesuit trying to hook him up with a cousin...
Comments: This novel was. Utterly. Loathsome. Starting with heinous character names and going downhill from there. I can't remember the last time I saw so many meddling people crammed into a single novel, and the effect was entirely mean-spirited, no matter how often Wilcox assures the reader that they all mean well. Death would have been too kind a fate for these people who go about ruining the lives of everyone else around them thinking that they're doing the right thing (or that someone else is trying to take advantage of them, so they'll have their revenge--which does happen on occasion). Odious, really. I wanted to split their throats...or my own. One or the other. Nevermind that the ostensible gay character is, well into middle age, still a virgin who'd rather live in holy matrimony. The "harmless gay" character type to the tee. Not to mention that the whole comedy of errors riff throughout the novel about who is and who is not prejudiced and what constitutes prejudice was tasteless. Leave it to a Southern writer to write all about the transplanted (from South to North), rich, white, and eccentric (except they don't realize it). Wilcox gives the rest of his kind a bad name, and I haven't the slightest clue how he could have gotten his novels published by respectable outfits in the first place! This novel wasn't worth the halfway-decent paper it was printed on.
Notes: hardcover, 1st edition, 2nd printing, out-of-print
Rating: 1.5/10 - The worst novel I've read in recent memory. Period.
8th-Jan-2006 03:19 am (UTC)
I think I'll, ah, be avoiding this one.
8th-Jan-2006 03:22 am (UTC)
*chuckles* I doubt you would've been picking it up at random, anyway. ^^;;;;

I'm half-tempted to go crawling contritely back to sci-fi/fantasy after this one...
8th-Jan-2006 03:26 am (UTC)
CJ Cherryh is calling you.
8th-Jan-2006 04:06 am (UTC)
Foreigner, right? Heh. I haven't forgotten. But I don't want to start that series until I have #2 and #3...
8th-Jan-2006 11:49 pm (UTC)
So, it didn’t even make it to the level of plain and normal then? ^_~
30th-Jan-2006 09:11 pm (UTC)
Review archived.
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