From Publishers Weekly
Narrator Richard and his partner, Conrad, are a well-adjusted gay couple living in Boston at the end of the American Century in McCauley's adroit latest (after Alternatives to Sex
). They have an understanding that allows for the occasional infidelity, but when Richard realizes that Conrad's current fling may be luring him away, he begins to worry. It doesn't help that Richard is becoming infatuated with his own insignificant other, Benjamin, who leads a double life as a supposedly happily married father of two. Richard's problems, though, go well beyond his love life, and with a dry, caustic wit and the occasionally weighty social observation, he describes how he's coping with his own exercise addiction, his suspicious sister, a client at work who may or may not be on the brink of going crazy, a friend who can't bring himself to tell his wife about his health problems, and his deeply confused feelings about Conrad and Benjamin. But it's an unlikely alliance with Conrad's business partner and the slow unraveling of his problems that adds an unexpectedly and refreshingly sentimental dimension to this accomplished comedy. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Winter in Boston sets the mood for Richard Rossi's reflections. Once a psychologist, now working in HR for a high-tech company, he is often bemused by corporate nuances. His relationship with live-in lover Conrad has reached a level of mundane confusion, and the spice that “insignificant other” Benjamin provides now has less savor. What to do? Richard is an exercise junkie, performing two sessions a day, one in a sunny upscale gym, the other in a basementlike facility. The fact that Richard is on a quest for a more meaningful life is apparent to us, but not him, so he is astonished to find that his conversations at work and with friends and family have a new, more substantive feel and are having a greater effect than any of his therapy sessions. McCauley's turns of phrase give Richard's jaded, ironic, and terse observations a magnificently elitist snarkiness, and as amusing as the story is, readers will truly care about Richard's fate. --Danise Hoover