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Blink Kindle Edition
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|Length: 200 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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A brief prologue section sets up the story: in 1982, twenty-two-year-old Andy Slater sees a beautiful young Hispanic man on the Chicago El – Carlos Castillo. In spite of his upcoming wedding to college sweetheart Alison, Andy makes an assignation with Carlos. That assignation is interrupted by a phone call from his mother, and their lives move on, whatever might have been between them unconsummated.
The bulk of the story is set in the present, thirty-three years later. And that’s all I’ll tell you, because you can guess the main point of the plot. But let me tell you, it’s not that simple. What I will tell you is that here is a romantic gay novel about two men in their mid-fifties. Both of them are happy, but not completely happy—for different reasons. Each of them has lived a life that included surviving the 1980s and 90s. For me, that’s enough to trigger some strong emotions, making me relive my own life over the past 30 plus years. It’s powerful to be acknowledged in this way in a novel, to have an author remind us that life is not always what we plan or we want. Whatever life throws at us, we do have some agency in how it plays out. To some degree, our happiness is ours to own.
Andy Slater and Carlos Castillo are the dual narrators. They are not alone in their voyage, and we meet people along the way who illuminate and crystalize their characters. I don’t want to reveal more, because it is a pleasure to meet everybody as they appear, and to incorporate them into our understanding of these two good men. It perhaps made it more enjoyable for me to read this book because men my age (I’m actually 61) are largely ignored in modern gay fiction. So much of this narrative echoed—even indirectly—my own voyage as a gay man in a world that has changed dramatically since 1982.
If I had one mild irritation, it was the author’s insistence on how hot and fit these two fifty-five-year-old are. This simply isn’t true for most men, gay or not. But it’s a romantic notion, and I embraced Reed’s fantasy at face value. We all remember who we were when we were young and slender and had thick heads of hair, even if nobody else does. Much of our present lives are filtered through those persistent memories, and Reed catches that beautifully.
I seem to be a fan of Rick R. Reed’s stories. Surely, he’s an author I want to support.
Another thing that I love in the book are the pop cultural references that are accurate to the feeling and the time of the story that it is referencing, while adding beautifully to the story. It had highs and lows and I did not get the immediate gratification that I wanted, in the end Blink left me wanting more; if you ask me those are the most important elements of a great story. Blink is a snapshot look into the lives of people we perhaps were, people that we knew or times that we remember with bittersweet love.This is a story that is told with such love and gentle care.
Fast forward to the present day. Both Andy and Carlos have led fulfilling lives. Like anyone, they've each known joy and sadness, good times and bad. But over the years, Andy never quite forgot his almost-encounter with the handsome Carlos, wondering what kind of life he was living. His curiosity eventually leads him to try finding him online.
Andy and Carlos take turns narrating the story from their point of view, so we get to see what's going on in both of their lives.
I loved both Andy and Carlos. It's so rare to find main characters in their 50s who are still seen as vital and sexually appealing. I would love to see where the future takes them!
Pick this book up while it still only $.99. That's way less than that Starbucks you had this morning, and it will stay with you a lot longer!
I consider "Blink" to be among the very best gay perspective novels that I have ever read.There are a handful of writers who can sustain a narrative as good as this one,Josh Lanyon,Jane Seville,Adam Carpenter,they are few and far between.
Characters beautifully and realistically drawn,an arresting plot and a love story,what more might one wish for?