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Tinseltown by Barry Brennessel

This novel was a delightful experience, like a cup of chocolate with whipped cream above in a winter afternoon, and I will add also, in front of a fireplace. In the youth of the main characters, all college students of 21 years old I probably felt a lot the real life experience of the author; moreover, the writing style, that recreates almost a screenplay, with the main character, Micah, who is a Communications Major at the University of Washington with a visceral passion for movies and television, is almost a double of the same author, who was among the 100 finalists with this same novel in a Screenplay competition.

The novel reads a lot like one of my every time favourite, Almost like Being in Love by Steve Kluger; the narrative voice breaks the plot in “scenes” and he introduces the characters as “roles”; sometime the same characters directly speak to the reader, giving their own account of the same scene. There is even a Greek Chorus, advising Micah for the best, and 2 different therapists who will sometime bring back Micah on track when he needs to tell the reader is own story. And what story is it? That of a 21 years old college student, not enough nerd to be a genius, not enough preppy to be fashionable, an average guy with an ordinary life and big dreams. By the way Micah is not even the classical good boy next door, he is even sometime a little shallow, and due to that, he is at the same time hurt and to one who hurts back. To give you an example, Lanh, the Vietnamese guy he falls in love (lust?) with, maybe is a gold diggers or maybe he is only a boy who needs help, but Micah, self-pitying and with low self-esteem, will treat him in a very bad way, so much that, while until that point I was cheering for Micah, then my support went to Lanh.

This is not really a love story, if for love story you mean boy meets boy, it’s more Micah self-journey towards being an adult; he is a romantic at heart but he doesn’t disdain a little fun, and so while he is waiting for Mr Right, he is not against the idea to go to Tinseltown, an X-rated movie theatre where the movies are not exactly the main attraction. But it’s not a dirty story of sex, it’s more the state of art account of a 21 years old gay boy whose life has not yet routed on the right track. Micah had a more than advantage starting point, a supporting family, a circle of friends who are always there, ready to help and advice, and a set of assets (good looks, creativeness and positive attitude) that will give him the chance to a more than positive future… if he is able to understand what is really important in life and who is the right man for him.


Amazon: Tinseltown
Amazon Kindle: Tinseltown
Paperback: 312 pages
Publisher: MLR Press (June 2, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1608203565
ISBN-13: 978-1608203567

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