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Trust Fund Boys Paperback – Bargain Price, May 3, 2005
This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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From Publishers Weekly
Desperate times call for desperate measures in Byrnes's dialogue-driven, tepidly humorous sophomore novel about a broke, destitute young man insinuating himself into gay Manhattan's version of high society. Resilient, late-30-something Queens actor Brett Revere finds himself in conundrums. The only audition he can get is for a campy gay theatrical version of Annie (called Andy); he needs to evict creepy roommate Quentin; and his temp agency drops him. Desperate, Brett hatches "Operation Hamptons," a plan to bilk older gay men out of their money by pretending to be a "trust fund baby," just like new friend Jamie Brock, a manipulative hustler and former L.A. decorator who hangs out at the Penthouse, a bar catering to the upper-crust gay set. Money isn't a problem after Quentin's new credit card arrives in the mail, but Jamie turns off the charm when he learns Brett's true social status. Brett tags along with Michael DeVries, a gentleman from the club, but still harbors blind love for Jamie, who continues to deceive him. Though Byrnes relates some hard truths about the often unsavory lives of the well-moneyed, none of his characters are particularly likable. Readers wanting more than long chapters of dialogue and a few cheap laughs might want to search out Byrnes's first novel, The Night We Met, instead of this facile, featherweight beach read.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Necessity, bolstered by no small measure of desperation, is mother to invention, and inspired invention, at that. And unemployed-actor-pushing-40 Brett Revere (not his real name, and he can pass for 32), who has sunk so low he has even been fired from temping, and who shares a dumpy apartment in Astoria, Queens, with creepy Quentin, is desperate. Actually, Brett is set to sink to an even lower level of hell via his small part in a gay parody of Annie, in which he is to be humped by Sandy, the dog. Enough is enough, he tells his quasi-loyal agent, Alan. He will instead assume a role that will change his life, that of Trust Fund Boy, as which he will ingratiate his way into the world of wealthy gay power brokers. Will Brett also make the most of the electricity between himself and legitimate Trust Fund Boy Jamie? Tune in and turn those pages with this charming, well-paced gay romance. Whitney Scott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
The good parts of this book: the author has a relateable writing style, doesn't try too hard to justify the bad behavior of his characters and he ties all of the different subplots together neatly by the end of the book.
The bad parts: none of the characters, save for Angel, the waiter, have any redeeming qualities which would inspire the reader to root for them. Sadly, that's less a reflection of the writer's lack of creativity than it is of the modern/urban single gay man. The main character is lazy, allergic to the truth, a user, a doormat and a totally passive-aggressive codependent. The supporting characters share most of the same qualities in addition to snotty elitists, haters of the 'unfabulous' in absolutely everything, and, in many cases, blatant racists.
In a world where a picture like "CRASH" can win the Best Picture Oscar for its completely stereotypical portrayals of racism in the new millenium, I suppose it's not surprising that a book like this would be written/published/enjoyed. While the main and a few of the supporting characters eventually wake up from the completely worthless comas that are their lives, it feels overindulgent to celebrate them for doing so, because in the end, the only thing they accomplished was achieving a basic sense of humanity that should be the standard expectation of all, not the glorified exception.
Brett Revere, our hero and narrator, is a barely thirty, out-of-work actor, eking out a living as an office temp, and dreaming of that big break that will make him a star of the Broadway stage, but the dream is beginning to wear thin, as is his bank account. As our story begins Brett is auditioning for a back room, non-equity, gay spoof of the musical ANNIE, called ANDY, starring an obnoxious queen named Joey Takashimi. After a single rehearsal Brett walks out on the embarrassingly bad production certain of its quick demise. He accompanies a fellow actor from the show for a drink, and ends up at the Penthouse, a bar frequented by the upwardly mobile, i.e.: gay and filthy rich, and those who want to be carbon copies of them. On his first night at the club, Brett meets Jaime Brock, an attractive, if somewhat weather-worn, charmer and ends up loosing his heart faster than Cher can change costumes.
It doesn't take long for our two fellows to discover that they are both wanna-be's not be's, and a plan is hatched to charm their way into this elite circle for the purpose of career enhancement. Unfortunately for Brett, the denizens of this exclusive enclave are not the only ones Jamie is conning, and Brett's puppy-dog crush is making him an easy mark. Will Brett wake up to the insanity of the situation, or will he follow Jaime in this soul snatching buffoonery? Will he ever stop playing Oliver to Jaime's Artful Dodger? Byrnes allows the character of Brett to be uncompromisingly human, with all his greed and selfishness exposed. Brett is a nice guy, deep down, but can he remain one and still gain entrance to the snooty society he sees as his salvation. We don't always like Brett, but we understand him.
TRUST FUND BOYS takes-no-prisoners in its disdain for the petty social snobbery of the Hampton's elite, and the bottom feeders that surround them, but the book's near-total lack of sympathy for this world in no way diminishes the reader's fascination by it, kind of like watching the Menendez trial, you now-did those divine brothers really do that?
While the majority of the people we meet along this exclusive trip are arrogant bores, the author never lets us forget that real, non-discriminating, worth-knowing people are part of every element of society, if you just look for them. Byrnes has lessons to teach us this time around, and he wears those lessons on his narrative sleeve. I, for one, don't mind calling a spade a spade, and appreciate Byrnes' frank candor. I highly recommend this book.
The book is competently enough written, if laced with stereotypes and political correctness (rich white men, bad, people who date racial minorities, good). If only the editor mentioned in the acknowledgments had taught the author when to use "I" and when to use "me;" that he didn't or couldn't is also disheartening.
The book is poorly written, shallow, the characters have no redeeming qualities, and it reflects the typical and superficial "low" values of idiodic gay men trapped in self-created stereotypes. This was an annoying experience for me: to see the one thing that disgusts me most about gay men in the US "fictionalized" (a "Queer as Folk" nightmare).
The story and it's characters are truly "American": gay men don't act like this in Germany and this type of book/behavior is exactly why Europeans hate us so much. (I'm an American living abroad). The book is an embarrassment.
I do not recommend purchasing this book.