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Looker: A Novel Paperback – June 5, 2007
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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From Publishers Weekly
Clay charts the affairs of L.A.'s gay black upper crust in his tawdry third novel (after In Search of Pretty Young Black Men). Brando Heywood and Omar Stevens have been best friends since high school. Now in their forties, Omar, a celebrity journalist, juggles boy-toy liaisons and hanging in Griffith Park while celibate Brando concentrates on his career as a highly-respected entertainment lawyer. But when one of his client's lesbian partner kills a man after he rapes her, he takes the headline-stealing case. The trial holds together a series of mini-dramas, including the discovery of a steamy secret video of Brando and Omar's and Brando's barely below-the-surface feelings for one another. Readers who can keep their disbelief deeply buried will enjoy this erotic, high-stakes romp.
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"An engaging novel...The erotic scenes are as steamy as they come!" -- Zane
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All the characters and their stories are related to the two men: Brandon and Omar, two fortes successful black gay men, who have been best friends for more than 20 years. Omar has been in love with Omar forever, while Omar has always protected his heart from feeling too deep because of a broken heart when he was younger. While Omar tries to fill his emptiness with sex with young men, Brandon ended an unfulfilling 10 years relationship and has been celibate for two years.
When one of his friends who killed her rapist ask him to represent him in court, Brandon is thrown back to Criminal law, an area of law he left for entertainment law because it made him feel too deep. Fighting for his friend's freedom will shake the barriers he put around his heart and eventually break them. He will feel and open himself to more feelings.
But his quest will be clumsy at first: He will try to win his ex-lover back, telling him he love him, when he never said the word during their 10 years together. But rather than real love, it is probably a need to love, a need to replay the past with his newfound openness to feelings. His ex-partner is with someone new anyway, so whatever this is, is too late for them to try again.
Then he will try to become more casual about sex and take his pick. But it is not just in him, this casualness.
And finally, he will end where he should have started: in his best friends arms. And there, strangely, instantaneously, he will FEEL love, real love, true love.
Now when I try to analyse Brandon's relationship with Omar, it seems like:
- They had sex together at 18, but while Omar was already in love with Brandon, Brandon's heart was still not ready to feel a big love
- Then a few years later Bradon had sex with Ethan and felt "in love" with him, but it was more worship and infatuation than real love. However, the pain of the break up made him decide to never ever feel so deep again
- Then Bradon found Collier, who loved him and spent ten years with him. But it was not love for Brandon. It was more liking and good sex. There was no sustainable fire, and that is why it ended and could not honestly be rekindled.
-Then Bradon and Omar admitted their love for each other.
Now I wonder, when did Bradon fall in love with Omar? Has he always been in love with him?
My guess is that Brandon has always been in love with Bradon, but he was blinded by Ethan's magnificence, then by his own desire not to feel too deep.
In the book it is hinted that there was always something more than friendship between Omar and Bradon, but all those years they ignored that like the elephant in the room. They both were jealous of the other's boyfriend.
I would have given 5 stars if Omar and Bradon's newfound love had been explored more deeply. But the end of the book was a bit rushed. Something had been building between Omar and Bradon since the first lines of the book. But when this "something" came to life in the form of love at the end of the book, it is a bit rushed. It is just dropped on the reader's legs without. It is the only moment of the book where the reader is not in the heroes head. And that is sad.
But in spite of this rushed ending, it is a terrific book and I loved it!
Most recent customer reviews
the style that book is written in.
This book gives you the total package all wrapped into one.Read more
Author: Stanley Bennett Clay
November 29, 2008
What are we really looking for?
Brando is a fine specimen of a man.Read more