Burnett, Allison, “Christopher: A Tale of Seduction,” Broadway Books, 2001
Get It Now
Some of you may look at the book information of this review and wonder why I a reviewing a book that is 6 years when there are so many new books coming out. There is a reason. You may remember that I not long ago reviewed “The House Beautiful” by Allison Burnett. You may also remember that I gave it a very good review. Allison Burnett, the author saw my review after I had also posted it on Amazon.com and sent me a note thanking me for it. One thing led to another and we are now what is called Amazon.com friends. In one of his emails to me he mentioned that he had written another book named “Christopher” and I asked him to send me a copy. Not only did he send me a copy but he autographed it. I surely hope he becomes famous one day and then I can tell everyone that I have an autographed copy. (Ah the joys of being a reviewer!!!)
So who is this Allison Burnett? Well as of yet I do not know a lot about him except to say that he is a really good writer, His novel “Christopher; A Tale of Seduction” was a finalist for PEN USA’s fiction award and it was not only a critical success but became somewhat of a cult classic. It is now being developed into a feature film so run out and get a copy of the book so you can boast to your friends after they see the movie that the book is better. (Don’t you love that?
“Christopher” is about the adventures of B.K. Troop (the same guy as in “The House Beautiful” but this comes before the second book). He is an alcoholic gay man who lives alone in New York. He is bipolar and not very exciting looking (as Burnett says “unattractive”—which is disastrous in gay circles). Now Troop has other qualities as well—he is erudite and possesses a sharp wit and he is very lonely. Troop feels fate has dealt him an ugly hand and he does not look forward to living an exciting life but all that changes when his new neighbor movies in. (Of course his neighbor’s name is Christopher). Christopher is young, (25), idealistic and an “aspiring novelist” getting over a bitter divorce. He is also straight. (I am not sure that being straight has ever been a deterrent for gay men—it is rather a challenge.) B.K. is dying to seduce Christopher even knowing that he is straight.
“Christopher” the book is B.K‘s retelling of his yearnings to seduce Christopher but it also chronicles Christopher’s coming of age, Christopher’s main goal is to find meaning in his life and he earnestly travels a journey that he hopes will lead him to that goal. Along the way he has several misadventures—a bout with New Age philosophy, involvement in politics, failed attempts to start his first novel and a crush on a married waitress, all at the same time that he is trying to get away from a dominating mother who has plans to keep him as hr little boy.
So is B.K. successful in his seduction? That is for you to find out because I am not telling. I will say that the humor gets darker as the book progresses.
There is great dialog in the book and I found that once I began it, it was very difficult to close the covers. In fact, I did not close them. I turned off the phones, ignored the doorbell and missed teaching two classes because I was so engrossed in the book. Now that I have closed the covers, I can’t get what I read off of my mind. Aside from the great and sparkling dialog and the wonderfully created characters, the story line is wonderful. Written in crisp prose, this is a book that will have you both laughing aloud and under your breath.
If you want to be more hip and cooler than the rest of your crowd, get yourself out and find a copy of this book. Then you can boast about it. The quick wit will bite you hard, the story will take you in and you will laugh your head off.