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Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Christopher by Allison Burnett

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:

April 19, 2006

I didn't have high hopes when I read "Christopher: A Tale of Seduction." Just the last part of the title makes the book sound unsavory. But you know what they say about judging books by their covers. Imagine my surprise to find an entertaining, engaging, and enlightening novel about love and life.

The book follows the enigmatic BK Troop through 1984 with a chapter dedicated to each month. BK has just moved into a new building only to find his neighbor is the sexy and newly single Christopher. (BK as you may have gathered already is a gay man; Christopher is not.) What follows are BK's attempts to seduce Christopher by becoming his friend and mentor as Christopher attempts to put his life back together after a divorce.

While it's BK's intention to do the seducing promised on the cover, the actual seduction is Christopher bringing out BK's humanity through his youthful idealism and familiar struggles with identity. In becoming Christopher's friend and mentor, BK is forced to accept a relationship not built on carnal lust and thus learns to appreciate Christopher--and himself--more as a human being. That I think is the biggest triumph of the novel.

There are a number of misadventures detailed in the book that range from the humorous--Christopher joining a New Age cult--to the very dark--Christopher making love to a 16-year-old student. The various ups and downs of Christopher's recovery are recounted as a memoir through BK in a witty, cynical voice that reminded me of David Gates' "Jernigan."

This book flew by in no time at all. I laughed, I didn't quite cry, and I learned about the human condition. All in all, "Christopher" is a real diamond in the rough.

BTW, despite BK being gay and falling in love with Christopher, this is not a novel ABOUT being gay. This isn't "Brokeback Mountain" after all. I'd say give this novel a chance to impress you too no matter your sexual preference.

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