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Not a Day Goes By: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – May 29, 2001

4.3 out of 5 stars 249 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Basil and Yancy Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Set in New York in the closing months of 1999, E. Lynn Harris's tightly plotted Not a Day Goes By bears all the outward markers of a romance by Danielle Steel or Jackie Collins--wealth, glamour, sex, and intrigue--except that the two main characters are more like the wily villains of a Dynasty remake. John "Basil" Henderson, a former football player who has started a successful sports agency with a friend, is a gorgeous, arrogant, bitter, woman-hating, homophobic, African American bisexual who is used to people staring at him. "Especially when I was naked," Basil confides, "My ass was perfect and my jimmie was both long and thick." Basil has fallen in love with an equally alluring figure, Yancey Braxton, a bronze-skinned Broadway singer whose beauty and dedication are matched by ferocious self-absorption and cunning. (Instead of attending her 10-year high school reunion, Yancey sent signed photos of herself and press packets.) Basil feels that his love has rescued him from the shallow life of a player, and he allows himself to believe that she is a good person, and that when they marry, she'll settle down a little and provide him with children. Yancey cares for Basil, too, but her career comes first. After that, sex and money. Babies aren't even on the list.

Harris's most sympathetic characters are Yancey's roommate, Windsor, a plump schoolteacher who spends her spare evenings holding abandoned babies at Hale House, and Zurich Robinson, a gay Christian ex-athlete who briefly considers joining Basil's agency, eliciting a string of ugly clichés from Basil's partner. Meanwhile, Basil, that pillar of integrity, listens in silence. The deal is scotched when Zurich announces that he has been interviewed for an article on gay men in professional athletics. When Basil asks him why he is coming out, Zurich tells him about another young quarterback who tried to run from his sexuality by getting married. The day of the wedding, he shot himself. "As Zurich told the story," Basil recounts,

I could picture the young man and for a brief moment felt the pain he was struggling with. I had been there. But it had never gotten to the point where I wanted to kill myself. If I could have talked to Milo I would have told him, "Roll with it young brother.... There is a way to have your cake and ice cream, too."
Suffice it to say that after a series of delicious plot twists and acts of increasing wickedness, it becomes clear that Basil and Yancey are too damaged to save each other. Although the characters in his sixth novel are somewhat two dimensional and his prose a little flat, E. Lynn Harris can manipulate a story line with the skill of an Eagle Scout earning his badge in knotmaking. Don't start this page-turner if you don't have six or seven free hours in which to read it straight through. --Regina Marler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Following a string of bestselling novels featuring plots that mix romance, deception, betrayal and bisexuality, Harris (If This World Were Mine; Abide with Me) scores again with the much-anticipated return of two of his most popular characters. When John "Basil" Henderson, ex-football player and sports agent on the rise, falls in love with haughty, ambitious Broadway star Yancey Harrington Braxton, it seems like a perfect match. But on the couple's wedding day, which opens the book, the extravagant nuptials are suddenly canceled. The narrative retraces the couple's rocky courtship: Yancey arrives in Basil's life at a critical moment, when his football career is over and he's in therapy examining his bisexual past. He's entranced by gorgeous, stylish Yancey, especially because she looks so good on his arm, but though he feels true admiration and love, Basil also still pines for men. Determined to marry, have children, and keep his homosexual proclivities a secret, Basil doesn't realize that Yancey has a few secrets of her own. Her one true love from her college days reappears, with some scandalous news. When Yancey discovers Basil's "other side," she is horrifiedDbut she quickly concocts a scheme to lay claim to Basil's riches. As usual with Harris, the romance is set within the lavish trappings of the Good Life: upscale vacations, lushly decorated homes, pricey designer duds. Harris has a ball with femme fatale Yancey, who chases film and TV roles with a relentless campaign of lies, party crashing and tantrums. With lean prose and witty dialogue, he brings some new notes, trills and riffs to his familiar song, and his patented knack for a wry, uproarious resolution is in full flower in this sexual War of the Roses. (Aug.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor (May 29, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 038549825X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385498258
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (249 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,545,634 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
E. Lynn:
First off, let me commend you on yet another masterpiece! I read Not a Day Goes By cover to cover within a day, just as my roommate did. It was excellent! You know, that Yancey may have a heart after all. But, it's impossible to drink from a well that's gone dry. Then there's Basil who is so confused he doesn't quite know what to do with himself. Yanceys' roommate Windsor was a wonderful addition to the story. I see that you left it somewhat open...does that mean that we will see Basil and Yancey again? My book club, Sistah Circle hosted your book signing of Abide With Me at Black Images in Dallas. I recall then that you said Basil might get his own book. Let me tell you, "YOU HAVE OUT DONE YOURSELF!" This book was absolutely marvelous. I received all of the invitations for Yancey and Basil's wedding, excellent idea. Whomever came up with that idea, always keep them on your team. Excellent marketing strategy. E. Lynn, what can I say besides, I simply love your books. Again I will say, since you first came into sistah's lives with Invisible Life, you have caused us to look and think twice about the men we deal with. We often times find ourselves saying, 'I hope he is not a Basil Henderson!' and praying that he is not. Please hurry with the next one, E. Lynn Harris books are my favorite. Please, do keep up the great work.
Toni Jackson Dallas, TX
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Format: Hardcover
E.Lynn Harris has done it yet again and he brought Basil Henderson along for the ride. I expected nothing less from this awesome,talented and powerful author. I couldn't wait to get my copy and had it reserved for weeks before it's release date. The story pulls you in to an unforgettable and shocking tale of your past coming back to haunt you and it will definately keep you glued to your sit. From beginning to end this was a HOT book to read. Our book club is eagerly waiting to discuss this book as we do all of his others. This book deserves a plus 5 star rating and will be on the bestseller list for weeks and months to come. You won't be disappointed with this book and if you're not an E.Lynn Harris fan already, there must to something wrong with you. You'll never forget him, his style or the characters he's created that, you'll come to love and hate. BRAVO! BRAVO! to E.Lynn. I'm looking to the memoirs book and I know there's a part II to this awesome and fierce book. Yancey and Ava are screaming it now. Plus, they need the tables turned on them and the screws tighten just a bit more. Hope you're listening to them.
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Format: Hardcover
Not A Day Goes By Is A Must Read!
I've been a fan of E.Lynn Harris' since the debut novel of Invisible Life and have read every book in the series. E. Lynn remains a consistently good writer! Not A Day Goes By is another page turner and as such I read the book in one sitting. The story is well-crafted with a good storyline; realistic and dimensional characters; vivid imagery and shocking plot twist and turns. Basil and Yancey are back to put on the wedding of the century. But just before the big day secrets and deception rear their ugly heads. Harris begins Chapter One with Basil comtemplating the upcoming wedding day and whether or not he's making the right decision. From there you're hooked and must read the rest of the book to find out why. Not A Day Goes By has the Classic Recipe for a delicious book: love, sex, romance, deception, raw ambition and intrigue. Add to it a pinch of lust, trust, betrayal, revenge, and a sprinkle of the sport's and entertainment industry. Mix it all together and you have all of the necessary ingredients. Not A Day Goes By is prepared with all of the plot twists, memorable characters and shocking surprises that keep one coming back to an E. Lynn book.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a well thought out story of love, sex, hidden secrets, and betrayal. I really liked this book. E. Lynn Harris is probably the most popular black fiction writer today, and his novels blend romantic stories that deal with controversial issues such as race, AIDS, and bisexuality.
In this story, Basil Henderson, a handsome ex-football player who has a history of loving both men and women, decides to marry Yancey, a fledging Broadway star. There marriage is only two months away and fate seems to be threatening their possible future together. Ava, Yancey's mother, who has always controlled her daughter, is about to meet her match in Basil. Is Yancey as bad as she seems, or is she really in love? Is she for real? Or is she just out for Basil's money? And how can Basil keep his other sexual life a secret from his future bride? Is he ready to be a give up his affairs with men. The story becomes more and more complicated as secrets are kept and more lies are told. What will really happen?
I did care about these characters and how their lives were going to turn out. I think that's a good sign of a talented writer. I will be eager to see what this author has in store for us in his next book. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did. It's got my recommendation!
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Format: Hardcover
This is the first E. Lynn Harris novel I have ever read. Let me tell you that it will not be the last. His sharp writing, precise wit and incredible narration are one of the best I have recently read. I love the story of ex-football player turned sports agent John "Basil" Henderson and up-and-coming, ego-is-larger-than-actual-fame Broadway star Yancey Harrington Braxton. Their love story illustrates how childhood traumas could affect adult relationships. I love John's character; he is a very earnest and very confused man. In fact, all of the characters are earnest and real. I have met my fair share of Basils or Yanceys or Avas (Yancey's wayward mother) in life. This is a great novel. E. Lynn Harris is a very talented contemporary writer. I strongly recommend that you give this book a whirl.
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