I don't know how I managed to stay awake for this novel, but I did.
*digs around her backlog* I need quality reading, and quick!!! Leddick, David. The Handsomest Man in the World. Binghamton: Southern Tier Editions, 2004.Summary
: William meets the love of his life Fred on Bikini Atoll (nuclear bomb testing site) while both men are in the Navy. They embark on a long-term relationship that takes them from California to New York City. Eventually, Fred leaves William to return to school and have a normal life as a lawyer with a wife and three kids.Comments
: *vomits* Awful, awful, AWFUL! As usual, Haworth Press is trying to disguise mediocrity with stellar paper quality. However, if you thought the cover of the novel equal parts campy and disturbing, well the novel itself is just dull. Narrator William at one point expresses disappointment when told that all gay men have a "love of my life" story like this one, and lemme tell ya, it's nothing special. (I hate to be nasty about this, as this novel is most likely heavily autobiographical, and that means I'm taking gut jabs at Leddick's own life story, but it's true.) Anyway, there're quite a lot of scenic descriptions and a surprising amount about fashion and about how things have gotten more overtly homophobic over the years--in the end, there's more retrospective of the 50's than there is plot. An exercise in nostalgia, from a romantic perspective as well. Too bad Leddick doesn't write better; I might have been more forgiving. Suffice to say that I'm just glad it's over and done with. And I regret the fact that I have another of his novels in the backlog. It's going to take heroic effort to attempt that one, now. Notes
: trade paperback, 1st editionRating
- Leddick would've been better off keeping the past to himself.