A Chair is still a Chair... (a book review)

But A House is Not A Home is a sad example of contemporary fiction. Now when I was first exposed to James Earl Hardy and B Boy Blues, I was just coming out. I had finally accepted my own truth and was veraciously devouring every gay novel I could find. Soon E. Lynn Harris and James Baldwin were finding their way along side my Accounting Principles and Economics books on the bookshelf. However that was over 7 years ago and unlike me Hardy’s writing has not evolved.

The story is billed as the sixth and final installment in this hip hop homo love story. For those of you unexposed to this story here is a brief synopsis:

Mitchell ‘Lil Bit’ Crawford meets Raheim ‘Pooquie’ Rivers in a gay bar in Greenwich Village in the summer of 1993. Mitchell is a 27-year-old journalist; Raheim is a 21-year-old bicycle messenger and stereotypical B-boy. Their smoking-hot sex develops into strong mutual need as Mitchell discovers that underneath his tough exterior, Raheim is smart, talented, and a loving parent to his five-year-old son. Raheim's major flaw is his violent streak. When Mitchell nudges him to accept his homosexuality, Raheim nearly knocks him out and leaves. Violence is an inescapable part of their world. Raheim's best friend is gunned down in the street; Mitchell's best friend becomes a victim of gay-bashing. However Hardy calls for a happy ending and has Raheim and Mitchell make up and declare their love.

Fast forward ten years and we have the two lovers broken up again after Raheim’s gambling addiction drives a wedge between the two. And that is where this unbelievable (and not in a good way) novel begins. While I understand this is a fiction novel, this is totally a land of make believe. The things Hardy comes up with make the story so fictional that it is hard to follow. Everything from Mitchell’s 50yo mother giving birth to a daughter who she gives to him to raise because she doesn’t plan on spending her retirement years raising another child… to the characters in the novel being featured on every major syndicated news show, magazine cover, and feature movie released in the past 10 years. The writing also reads like it did 10 years ago, and while my naivety to gay fiction overlooked the high school level… it wears on me now and makes what usually takes me a few days to read two weeks.

While I do not want to spoil the story for those who have not read it, the ending isn’t as developed as it needs to be. Which is quite disappointing for this to be the final installment.

My review: If you have read the other 5 episodes, go ahead and pick it up or borrow it from someone. If you haven’t skip it.


lj said...

u took the words right out of my mouth

Adult Personals said...

hehehehe good topic, like the site.

goodguy said...

yeah man i have to agree with u on this one, i loved b-boy blues but that second noval i just could not finished and i have not bought another book by Hardy, i did meet him tho, he seems like a very nice person.