- Tapa blanda: 240 páginas
- Editor: iUniverse; Edición: Signed By Author (6 de agosto de 2003)
- Idioma: Inglés
- ISBN-10: 0595282563
- ISBN-13: 978-0595282562
- Valoración media de los clientes: Sé el primero en opinar sobre este producto
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Monkey Suits: a novel (Inglés) Tapa blanda – 6 ago 2003
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Descripción del producto
Reseña del editor
"The cater waiter is the ultimate illusion; queer posing as straight, liberal posing as conservative, hedonist posing as eunuch."
In his second novel, Jim Provenzano (author of the acclaimed PINS) explores Manhattan society life from the servants' point of view. Monkey Suits serves up a compassionate and witty tale of 1980s class warfare, and the romantic entanglements of a quintet of tuxedo-clad waiters.
Lee Wyndam's work-related affairs lead to more frustration than he'd expected. Drawn to activism, his passion may finally blossom. His ex-boyfriend Brian Burns' foray into "the oldest profession" leads to a strange encounter. Ed Seabrook, Brian's spiritual boyfriend, Marcos Tierra, a sassy club kid, and Ritchie Hurst, a (mostly) straight sculptor, each have their lives forever changed by a tumultuous benefit protest.
"Jim Provenzano captures an era in gay history with humor and poignancy. He has become one of our strongest voices."
--poet Alex Gildzen
Biografía del autor
Jim Provenzano?s first novel, PINS (Myrmidude Press), about gay high school wrestlers, is also available in German as Wrestling Team (Bruno Gmunder). His stage adaptation of PINS won a Bay Area Critics Circle Award. Read his short fiction, news stories, and Bay Area Reporter Sports Complex columns at www.sportscomplex.org.
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MONKEY SUITS is far better than a lot of contemporary "gay" novels and certainly covers an area not usually written about. It's probably unfair to expect this novel to be as fantastic a story as PINS. Mr. Provenzano obviously is capable of writing very fine stories and most likely will do it again. I'll read them cheerfully.
The nominal protagonist is Lee, although he is probably the least developed of the ensemble. Early on, he is described as an airhead; later he comes across as timid and anxious; and finally, he emerges as an activist of sorts. The various pieces of his personality aren't really pulled together and his initial interest in activism seems more a matter of his attraction to fellow waiter, Kevin, than anything else. Even if Lee is a nice guy who flies under most people's radar and needs to be pulled along by the flow of things, his character requires more development than occurs here. We know more about the other characters backstories, while all we know is that Lee comes from a college town in Indiana. We don't know if he's from the gown or the town or whether he or his parents ever had expectations beryond waiterhood. The counterpoint to Lee is his ex-boyfriend Brian, the exteremely handsome, very manipulative guy that most people want to have, but also come to hate. Rounding out the cast are Ritchie, the basically straight artist, his musician girlfriend, Brian's new boyfriend--Ed, and Marcos who is something of a diva-ish mother hen for Lee. Later, we meet Cal, a stunningly beautiful man, who becomes the real love of Lee's life. Other characters include a well-intentioned socialite and her husband who is a closeted, kinky, and homophobic political conservative.
The story captures the later years of the New York that was chronicled and lampooned in Spy magazine. This was the New York of "The Donald", Leona Hemsley ,and the worst sorts of excess. The book also focuses on AIDS activism and issues of class. The efforts at finding metaphors for the servile life of the waiters is a bit forced, especially given their largely middle class to upper middle class backgrounds. The AIDS activism seems a bit muted and fails to communicate the truly intense anger and the level of theatre that came with ACT-UP. The dopey narcissism that sometimes came with the guerilla theatre also is missing. The anxiety about AIDS is a mix between the complacency that came later and the concern about evety act that was more typical of the mid-80s. In that respect the book captures its era very well.
I've emphasized the flaws, but the writing makes up for most of them and the book is ultimately a very rewarding read. It's humorous and there are many insightful looks at human life and gay men. The characters are, in their different ways, likeable and engaging--even Brian. As with "Pins", Provenzano ties things up a little too quickly and neatly. A novel can leave us wondering more than a short story, a column, or an essay, and that seems to be where Provenzano has the most trouble.
The main character, Lee, is attracted to this vocal, policy-changing mob, and feels like with social activism, he might have found his passion in life. Other characters are equally colorful: Brian, who tries life as a hustler; a club-hopper boy, a bi-curious sculptor, and more.
It's a colorful, detailed look at a moment in time in our history--with all the laughs, tears and drama you'd expect.