It doesn't take long after opening the pages of this brief book to catch the gist of author Jeffrey Hickey's purpose in writing it. At least from one vantage it seems that in addition to wanting to write a fascinating coming of age story Hickey also had the desire to help blur the lines of view in looking at gay versus straight society. And the odd thing about his book is that he takes a very firm stand with his main character Dave Morehead (the very last name is suggestive of the degree of humor Hickey invests here!) being a womanizer after breaking his barrier of virginity and yet becoming involved in living in San Francisco during the 1970s and 1980s when not only was Dave Morehead changing, but so was the gay revolution. It makes of a very interesting dichotomy of inspiration, feelings and understanding that should make the book's audience even wider.
Hickey takes his character by means of journal entries, a bit of poetry and a play of sorts through the discomfort of being a loner, and what is more, a studly looking completely straight loner in a college situation surrounded by gays and lesbians. He rooms with a good guy, discovers love with a girl in the strangest way, fends off would be advances form gay men, and slowly but surely navigates through all the changes that beset San Francisco - Gay Games, the murder of Harvey Milk, the origin of Gay Pride, the horror of the new plague AIDS, and the world of flower children and spiritual odysseys that flowed through the Castro District and the Haight Ashbury district of San Francisco.
If the language seems overly crude and the `chapters' of his book don't seem to hang together the way a normal novel should then the reader has caught on to the ferocious writing style of Jeffrey Hickey. But underneath all the bawdy surface lies a lot of very tender message about that horrendous trial we all have had to face - growing up. Some never do, and some can recreate it like a pixilated flashback the way Jeffrey Hickey has in this book. Simultaneously hilarious, sarcastic, disconcerting, perceptive and offensive Hickey has a talent for driving toward the center of the target and getting there. Grady Harp, June 12