6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
An Entertaining Coming-out Novel,
This review is from: Unspoken (Paperback)
Gene Naro's ambitious novel UNSPOKEN is set in contemporary North Carolina and New York where the protagonist Dan O'Brien aka Chance Gardner flees to, to escape the clutches of his controlling father Jack O'Brien, the patriarch of a family who never talk about things that matter, hence the title "Unspoken," and the CEO of North Carolina Bank & Trust Company, and to seek his own sexual freedom. He follows his childhood friend Michael Hendricks who has just landed a cushy job with a brokerage firm there and, for the first time in his sheltered pampered life, is forced to make a living on his own in New York-- well, not completely as his mother back home in Charlotte pays his credit card bills.
In a plot abundant with irony and eroticism and that never ever drags, Mr. Naro weaves Dan's story of coming out in New York with his father's attempt at a hostile takeover of New York Trust. The toe-sucking sequence between Dan and the character Paul is in a category all its own and is as steamy as anything you will read. Mr. Naro, moreover, manages to make the world of corporate finance interesting to me-- no small feat on his part. I particularly liked Marty, Dan's roommate in New York, who is good for comic relief. He reminds everyone when he, Dan and his lover Steve, exactly twice his age of 23, go home to North Carolina to meet the family and the situation is miles past being out of control that "'Babe, I knew it was gonna be a mess, but I had no freakin' idea it was gonna be this bad. I mean, you couldn't make this s--t up if you tried.'" From time to time Mr. Naro makes insightful observations about the human animal. Two characters [Paul and Ray] "show up at parties together. It's only a slight variation on most marriages." Then there is Dan and Dr. McGovern's discussion of the transition from sexual attraction to what they call attachment associated with "kissing and cuddling." The author can turn a phrase beautifully as in his description of a character who has a "smile that betrayed a trace of sadness" but then write something as excessive as having Dan's eyes burn "in what felt like the flush of a thousand suns."
Even though the prose on occasion gets a tad purple and the author sometimes tells the reader rather than shows him, UNSPOKEN is most entertaining and should appeal to a lot of people. There is just not a dull page in it. I kept thinking, as I read it, that the story would make a really fine movie.