What Comes Around
"What Comes Around," the latest work from award-winning novelist Jameson Currier, is a melancholy, grim and somewhat disappointing collection of interconnected short stories from the esteemed author of "Where the Rainbow Ends" and "The Haunted Heart and Other Tales."
Told from a second person point of view over a four-decade period, each of the fifteen chapter entries from this novel relay the hopeful, tragic or arousing details of relationships and encounters experienced by a nameless narrator on a quest to find that special someone.
His story begins at the age of 15, when he acknowledges his attraction to men while training to be a lifeguard. He then jumps ahead to ten years later, as a still young but more experienced gay man, seeking substance among the antics of his friends and the variety of familiar methods gay men rely on -- or resort to -- for companionship.
The narrator leaves no stone unturned, including personal ads, blind dates and support groups. His many conquests, which tend to end badly, include close acquaintances (or friends with benefits), married men, longtime sex partners (or fuck buddies) and the occasional sugar daddy. Meanwhile, it wouldn't be a gay novel if friends didn't die along the way.
Speaking as an avid reader, I found the second person narrative intriguing and credit the author for such an original attempt. That said, I am an equally ardent fan of Currier's work ("Rainbow" is an all-time favorite of mine), and while I wouldn't expect him to craft a fairy tale ending, I found this collection to be particularly sullen and unduly sad.
"What Comes Around" is still exemplary of Currier's undeniable talent for storytelling -- if only his narrator weren't completely devoid of all hope.
"What Comes Around"
Chelsea Station Editions