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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
Here's to doing absolutely NOTHING productive today. (^_^; 
12th-Jan-2006 04:37 pm
Might as well take advantage of the down time while it lasts, I guess. After all, I have every intention, if I do someday become a university professor, to work until I'm senile and they force me into retirement. XD

Anyway, suffice to say that I'm not bored. No, not quite yet. Give it a few more weeks. *sighs*

Baker, James Robert. Tim and Pete. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993.
Summary: Tim and Pete have broken up, but fate throws them back together when Tim gets left stranded and seeks out Pete's help. What ensues is an adventure around Los Angeles, taking them eventually to Pete's concert, after which they reconcile, and in pursuit of Joey, the boy Pete is mentoring for AA. Turns out that a quartet of HIV-positive gay men have decided to go terrorist, and while at first they plan on targeting the Reagans, they change their minds and head out for a right-wingers' conference out in La Jolla, which Tim and Pete inadvertently learned about while calling on Pete's mother, who works for a Republican. They get her out of the conference before any shooting starts with a ruse about Pete being crucified and then head off to bed for some well-deserved rest.
Comments: Though I don't know much about him, I do know that the author committed suicide in 1997. Whether it was AIDS-related or not...? Dunno. However, there is plenty of talk in this novel about making one's death mean something, about not going quietly into the night and all that. And while this novel was written over a decade ago in the shadow of the L.A. race riots and, since then, Arab suicide bombers have proven to us that such behavior only incites further censure and prejudice, one does wonder where all that leftist rage with which Baker infuses his writing has gone. If we needed it back then, my God to we need it now! Baker must be rolling in his grave... In any case, this book was sexy (these guys mix years of celibacy with brief periods of orgy, apparently), deliciously funny, and provocative; I'm quite surprised to see it under the "serious" Simon & Schuster imprint at all (though Alyson has the reprint rights now). In any case, though Tim and Pete have numerous and involved fantasies of the way they might take out Republicans and conservatives, they do not actually do it. Talking about it, or, in Pete's case, writing lyrics and then singing about it, suffices, providing a creative, non-violent outlet for the anger. I suspect that this is what Baker intended to do writing this novel. Though it attempts poignancy in places, it works much better as an expression of outrage. Easy, but still lots of fun to read.
Notes: trade paperback, 1st edition, out-of-print; reprint trade paperback edition from Alyson available
Rating: 6/10 - Angry in places, witty in others. An enjoyable read, but not a classic one.
12th-Jan-2006 11:49 pm (UTC)
I liked that one a lot. Plenty of wit and humour with the message...and as you say very sexy too.
13th-Jan-2006 12:32 am (UTC)
Have you read any of Baker's other works? Adrenaline looked really interesting...
13th-Jan-2006 04:44 pm (UTC)
Did you know they made his book TESTOSTERONE into a film? It's about a graphic novelist looking for an ex-lover somewhere in South America. So far I've only seen snippets of the film and have not read the book. (Anthony Sabato Jr. plays the ex...yummy)

I found TIM AND PETE to be too relentlessly angry for my taste and some of the parodies of certain (non-gay) "types" were a little over the top. Don't get me wrong, I understand the anger and believe it's certainly justified, but, as a novel, it was a bit much for me. Not bad though. I liked that it avoided all those nancy-boy gay steretypes that show up in a lot of moderen "Sex in the City" style gay books (have you read TROUBLE BOY by Tom Dolby, yet? I mean, I don't want a man describing someone's Jimmy Choo shoes - it's a tired steretype). Anyway, all told, I suppose I would've given TIM AND PETE it a 6 out of 10 as well.
13th-Jan-2006 05:43 pm (UTC)
I'm not up on gay cinema, at all. (Not up on movies in general, though I'm well-educated in the technical aspects of film.)

I saw Tim and Pete as a product of it's time. Apart from all the cultural references (this has got to be the first time I've seen Amy Grant mentioned in any novel, gay or otherwise), it primarily references the mood of the L.A. race riots, not the terrorist acts that rang in the 21st century--and the under the 20/20 lens of the latter, the novel loses a good deal of argumentative power. However, I really do wonder where all that anger went. A little bit of anger these days would be nice, given, among many other things, the excesses of the current president.
13th-Jan-2006 07:56 pm (UTC)
Only Testosterone, which as blake_fraina says was made into a movie-a truly dreadful adaptation that's a travesty of the novel. Believe it or not, Testosterone is even angrier than Tim & Pete. Almost impossible to describe, exciting, disturbing, impossible to put down, it seriously messes with your head.
13th-Jan-2006 10:06 pm (UTC)
So you'd recommend Testosterone, then? From what you're saying, it sounds like the writing style is more experimental than Tim and Pete, and if I had one major gripe about that novel, it was that the writing was a bit stiff and conventional--especially considering its content.
14th-Jan-2006 12:51 am (UTC)
Oh it's not conventional, though perhaps not so much in style as content. There are two men, Dean and Pablo. Pablo goes out for cigarettes one night and doesn’t come back. Dean sets out to find him. Sounds simple, eh? Hah! For 24 hours Dean drives along looking for his AWOL boyfriend, dictating onto tapes...we're reading the transcripts...it's all written in immediate first person POV though the timeline shifts when he has to fill in gaps of storyline. All the while Dean is high on a variety of substances so you're never exactly sure what's real or paranoid fantasy, and he doesn't know whether he wants to kill Pablo if he finds him or ravish him. Maybe HE'S the crazy one and Pablo the innocent victim. It just sucks you in. The ending is a headfuck. Baker is never boring.
30th-Jan-2006 09:08 pm (UTC)
Review archived.
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