Diaz, Johnny. ”Boston Boys Club”, Kensington Books, 2007.
Funny and Smart
Johnny Diaz’s “Boston Boys Club” is a relaxing read. It is sexy, it is funny and it is smart—the kind of book you in which you savor every page. This is quite simply a great summer read—it requires no great thought—all you have to do is sit back and open it and enjoy.
Set in Boston’s South End, the book is basically about the Club Café where like “Cheers”, “everybody knows your name”. Knowing someone’s name is one thing but everyone also knows who slept with whom. Kyle Andrews, Tommy Perez and Rico DiMio are members of the coterie that habituates Club Café and they all wear muscle shirts and her beautifully tanned. The guys stand around and cruise and generally live life to have a good time.
Tommy is seldom seen without his vodka and diet Coke (or as he calls it his “Skinny Black Bitch”. Tommy feels that Thursday nights at the bar are the main nights of the week. When Tommy received a new job assignment and was transferred from Miami to Boston to become a reporter for the “Boston Daily”, he found it difficult to leave his family but he soon forgot his homesickness when he met Mikey, a “hottie” guidance counselor from Cape Cod. Mikey is the boyfriend we all dream of—or so we think. When he starts drinking, we discover that he has some issues that he needs to work on. Tommy’s best friend, Rico, an accountant is sure that Mikey is no good and he should know—he also has a secret in his past. Kyle, Tommy’s other friend, a model is also facing changes in his life.
The novel takes place over a year and we see guys rethinking all they have ever believed. With the subplots going into force, set against the background of an active gay bar where possibilities are endless, our heroes may finally discover who they really are.
What Johnny Diaz does in this book is show us gay life in the city and how dating affects those who are involved in it. He looks at the love lives of the denizens of Club Café. He shows us through his three major characters how we are affected by different situations and how our hopes and our fears cause us to act in different ways. Among the characters in the book, all of us will find someone we either recognize or can identify with.
The book is merely the story of looking for Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now and is an accurate reflection of gay life in the new century.
One of the innovations of the book is that there are three narrators who take us on a sex-filled read about contemporary gay life. This is the first book I have read by Johnny Diaz and I sincerely hope it is not my last.