Archive for June, 2012

I Can’t Remember When I’ve Enjoyed a Novel So Much

Posted in Uncategorized on June 15, 2012 by scottsteaux63

http://www.amazon.com/The-Marrying-Kind-Ken-ONeill/dp/1602826706/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1339771549&sr=1-1&keywords=the+marrying+kind+by+ken+o%27neill

I ordered this book from Amazon a couple weeks ago; it arrived last Wednesday at about one in the afternoon; I settled down and devoured it in one sitting and I must say I have not enjoyed a novel so much in quite some time.

The story concerns Steven Worth, a somewhat flighty and catch-as-catch can feature writer for The Gay New York Times, and his industrious and hard-working partner Adam More, a highly successful wedding planner. At the beginning of the story everything appears to be flowing smoothly for these two lovebirds, nearing their seventh anniversary and secretly longing for the day when they will be able to get married even as they attend and take part in the weddings of various family and friends.

Until the day they attend the “wedding” of their friends Malcolm and Jack (I should note here that this novel takes place before marriage equality became law in New York State, hence the quotes). At the reception, one of the “best men,” a man from the Netherlands, making his toast, stupidly blurts out that he and his husband were able to marry LEGALLY in their country, unintentionally (?) throwing a bucket of ice water on the proceedings and sending poor Adam into the beginnings of a downward spiral as he is forced to examine the fact that he is making a living throwing parties for straight people only; gay people can get invited, sure, and can even stand up with the bride or groom. But to actually BE brides or grooms? Nope.

For Steven’s part, the central conflict begins when, while opening the mail, he comes across a wedding invitation from one of Adam’s cousins, a woman who is perfectly well aware of the nature of his relationship to Adam and with whom they had socialized many times. The invitation reads “Adam More and Guest.” “And Guest.” To which Steven responds by hyperventilating and, upon Adam’s arrival home, throwing the thing Joan Crawford-style at him. The pressure is building and sooner or later this thing has to burst.

After a couple of nightmares both alarming and hilarious, Adam decides to throw the whole business in the toilet, vowing never to plan another wedding so long as LGBTs are excluded from marriage.

Suddenly, both Adam and Steven find themselves instant activists; support from the LGBT community is swift and so intense that Steven, not too great with crowds, is as embarrassed as he is elated.

Then comes the backlash. Steven’s brother Peter and his girlfriend Amanda, who have been happily cohabiting for years and swearing to anyone who will listen that they are never going to get married, suddenly reveal that that is exactly what they are going to do.

The remainder of the novel deals with Steven’s conflict of failing to attend his only brother’s wedding and risking not only a major guilt trip from his mother, but an estrangement from his brother that is beyond painful. Adam seems unfazed by the conflict and Steven has no luck persuading him to attend “just this once.”

The whole thing comes to a head at a demonstration at City Hall where Steven realizes he cannot do this to his brother, whom he misses terribly, and he runs from the demonstration to his brother’s bakery where he apologizes and says he’ll be there. The brothers reconcile, but the end result (at least so far) is that Steven ends up being driven out of the house by a truculent and unsympathetic Adam. Actually to some extent Steven drives himself out, but the point is they are no longer together.

I won’t reveal any more; like most plot-driven novels, there’s a lot going on, and a cast of some of the most colorful characters I’ve seen in a novel in a long time.

The book’s tone is astonishing, ranging from light, breezy, and confident, to conflicted, angry, and near-despair before the final curtain rings down on the story.

I would LOVE to see this one made into a movie; it would rival LATTER DAYS in its depiction of a Gay couple as two very real men who are both aware that they engage in some stereotypical behavior but are much too individualistic to really care. All they want is to be part of every aspect of life, and the book makes the case for this more eloquently than anything I’ve read in a long time.

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