INTERNET, TV, DVD, the phone - even blogging. There’s a lot of distractions in the home, and ever more demands on our time.

How often do you get the opportunity - or make the time - to read a book? It’s hard isn’t it? My own reading has increasingly been restricted to an hour on the Tube and a little before bed.

So if I told you that I spent most of the day reading Larry Duplechan’s Got ‘Til It’s Gone that should give you some idea of how much I liked this book.

Got ‘Til It’s Gone sees the return of Johnnie Ray Rousseau, last seen in 1993’s Captain Swing (the third of Duplechan’s critically acclaimed Johnnie Ray Rousseau books). Before James Earl Hardy and E. Lynn Harris, Duplechan was doing his thing with “gay, black, and sassy Johnnie Ray Rousseau”.

Except… strike the sassy. Sassy says to me, “Smug jerk,” a character you’ll find in James Earl Hardy’s novels, but not here. Unlike Mitchell “Little Bit” Crawford, Johnnie Ray Rousseau is the kind of guy you want to be around - smart, mature (and a little immature), warm, sexy and very, very funny. But I’ve known old J.R. all his life. He was a teenager in Blackbird, the first in the series, and he’s now 48. You don’t spend all that time with someone unless you like them.

What is it about Got ‘Til It’s Gone that makes it such a page turner? At it’s core it’s a tale of love, loss, friendship and sex. Lot’s of sex. Johnnie sure knows how to work it, and boy does he work it out. The magic is in how Duplechan skilfully works these elements together, never letting one strip the other of significance or meaning, each theme fortifying another and done with a deft turn of phrase and a nice line in detailed observation.

Perhaps the best thing about this juicy little novel is the wit. How I laughed. And laughed out loud too. When was the last time a book did that to you? In particular, there’s a sequence towards the end of the novel in which our protagonist endures a truly frightening medical examination. Your eyes will water. It’s also one of the funniest things I’ve ever read; my deranged cackling attracted several disapproving glances. And if you’ve seen, or even read, Misery, you’ll just love Nurse Sato.

Welcome back Johnnie Ray - just don’t leave it so long next time.

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Previously -
Review: Love The One You're With


thegayte-keeper said...

I've been meaning to get into reading books but there always seem like no time for me to get into it

ka-os said...

That's exactly my point, there never *seems* like enough time. But if you really think about it, there's always something you could pass on, time that could be better used doing something more rewarding. I just left the computer alone for a while and picked this up instead.

taylorSiluwé ..... said...

On my PILE of to-be-read books I recently ordered from Amazon: Best American Short Stories 2007-edited by Stephen King; Best American Stort Stories 2008-edited by Salman Rushdie; Tangled Up in Blue-Larry Duplechan; Got 'til It's Gone-Larry Duplechan ....

I fell in love with Duplechan years ago when I read Zazoo in a short story collection. Only recently did I remember this charming story and I ordered those two titles I listed.

I love to read, but life gets in the way sometimes. As soon as I finish the Stephen King edited collection, I'll be diving into to Duplechan.

ka-os said...

Taylor - I assume then you've read Blackbird, the first JRR book?

I haven't read Zazoo, I'm gonna check that out...

...after I start my next book, Dancing With The Devil. Dunno who it's by but it looks pretty good ;)

Moanerplicity said...

I always try to make time for reading. It's a far mo betta mental escape than drugs, and often more entertaining. Just finished reading a fellow blogger's debut novel (called Owen Fiddler), and it was surprisingly GOOD! There always are several books on my table, all in various states of being-read. This is one more to add to that pile. Great review, pa!


ka-os said...

Careful Moanerplicity, I'll have my own novel on it's way to you faster than you can say "Everyone has a novel in them..."

Mike said...

READ!! Who has time to read?

I've got 65 hours of "The Wire" to watch. I'm on Season 2. I cried like a seven year old when Kima got shot. I'm a lesbian like that. Yes, identity issues. :)

Mr. Jones said...

Lot of sex, eh? I'll give it a whorl. I'll probably stop in Barnes and Noble this weekend to pick it up.

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