“Deep Dish”–very, very funny

Harshbarger, Marc. “Deep Dish”, 2007.

Sit Down, Relax, and Laugh your Head Off

Amos Lassen

I just closed the covers of one of the most entertaining books I have ever read and I am still laughing while glowing over Marc Harshbarger’s “Deep Dish”. I am not exactly sure how to describe it but I guess I will use part of the blurb from the cover and go from there.

What do the hustle, Mary Richards, mood rings and pet rocks have in common? Obviously the common denominator is the novel, “Deep Dish”, a rollicking very gay soap opera of a book with more characters than the average TV soap and as many, if not more, subplots.

We go back to 1975 where we meet the Davenport and Haze families whose members are in and out of love like a subway turnstile. I had no problem following the antics—as soon as I got involved I felt I was right there with them and having the time of my life. There are secrets that make “As the World Turns” seem like a TV show for pre-schoolers. There is something for everyone here—friends and lovers, intrigues, lipstick lesbians and hot men, divas and leavers and of course fabulous drag queens. What everyone has in common is that they are searching for love and find it where they can.

Let’s take a look at a few of the characters of which there are 42. Now that may not seem like a large cast to you but they all appear in a book of 266 pages and each has his day in the sun. Cary Davenport wants so to be in love but he must do something about his love for pepperoni pizza and Twinkies in order to find what he wants. Chandler Haze has a secret and it has nothing to do with him being a drop dead gorgeous man who is the star quarterback of the Winnetka Wildcats (he obviously is not the big nose from Winnetka).

The Sweeneys are quite a family starting with Ginger, a girl who is a frustrated virgin and determined to have sex. Her father is the sheriff of the town and her uncles are a pizza maker and a Chicago detective—although what one has to do with the other I have no idea.

The Davenports are another classic American family. The mom is a widow by the name of Bermuda who enjoys a cocktail often; her daughter, Abra, is a former actress of beach party movies and Abra’s son, the aforementioned Cary has an eating problem, Abra’s third husband, Del, has a doughnut shop and he has a daughter Delia who loves her dad’s money and Chandler Haze and a son named Dexter who is an Olivia Newton-John fan but also loves his privacy. Finally there is Grant, Cary’s identical twin brother who is not a fatty and more popular than Cary.

This is just a sampling of what awaits you in this wonderful book. You would think it would be hard to keep everything “straight” but Harshbarger manages to keep everything moving smoothly. His prose is simple but with a story line like he has, his style of writing is just what this book needs. And what I could tell the saga of “Deep Dish” is far from over. Everything is not resolved here and in fact the last page of the book asks questions that will take us right into a sequel. “Deep Dish” is a great read that is loads of fun. I can’t spoil it by giving anything away so you will have to read it yourself. You’ll have a great time. I know I did.

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