Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Oh, and screw you again, Publishers Weekly. (Did I say that out loud?)

From Amazon:

The Sun WILL Come Out Tomorrow!, June 8, 2004
Reviewer: justjak13 from El Paso, TX United States

For those of you expecting a screwball, over-the-top repeat of Rob Byrnes' delicious, THE NIGHT WE MET be forewarned. TRUST FUND BOYS maintains Byrnes' wonderfully irreverent and slightly cynical narrative voice, so captivating in the first novel, but the story, this time around, is more "expose" than "madcap adventure." It has its slap-stick moments, but the setting and tone are a great deal more personal, and not always pretty to look at. The end result, however, remains enormously satisfying.

Brett Revere, our hero and narrator, is a barely thirty, out-of-work actor, eking out a living as an office temp, and dreaming of that big break that will make him a star of the Broadway stage, but the dream is beginning to wear thin, as is his bank account. As our story begins Brett is auditioning for a back room, non-equity, gay spoof of the musical ANNIE, called ANDY, starring an obnoxious queen named Joey Takashimi. After a single rehearsal Brett walks out on the embarrassingly bad production certain of its quick demise. He accompanies a fellow actor from the show for a drink, and ends up at the Penthouse, a bar frequented by the upwardly mobile, i.e.: gay and filthy rich, and those who want to be carbon copies of them. On his first night at the club, Brett meets Jaime Brock, an attractive, if somewhat weather-worn, charmer and ends up loosing his heart faster than Cher can change costumes.

It doesn't take long for our two fellows to discover that they are both wanna-be's not be's, and a plan is hatched to charm their way into this elite circle for the purpose of career enhancement. Unfortunately for Brett, the denizens of this exclusive enclave are not the only ones Jamie is conning, and Brett's puppy-dog crush is making him an easy mark. Will Brett wake up to the insanity of the situation, or will he follow Jaime in this soul snatching buffoonery? Will he ever stop playing Oliver to Jaime's Artful Dodger? Byrnes allows the character of Brett to be uncompromisingly human, with all his greed and selfishness exposed. Brett is a nice guy, deep down, but can he remain one and still gain entrance to the snooty society he sees as his salvation. We don't always like Brett, but we understand him.

TRUST FUND BOYS takes-no-prisoners in its disdain for the petty social snobbery of the Hampton's elite, and the bottom feeders that surround them, but the book's near-total lack of sympathy for this world in no way diminishes the reader's fascination by it, kind of like watching the Menendez trial, you now-did those divine brothers really do that?

While the majority of the people we meet along this exclusive trip are arrogant bores, the author never lets us forget that real, non-discriminating, worth-knowing people are part of every element of society, if you just look for them. Byrnes has lessons to teach us this time around, and he wears those lessons on his narrative sleeve. I, for one, don't mind calling a spade a spade, and appreciate Byrnes' frank candor. I highly recommend this book.