Cover image for The city kid
Title:
The city kid
Author:
Reidinger, Paul.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Southern Tier Editions, Harrington Park Press, [2001]

©2001
Physical Description:
229 pages ; 23 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781560231684

9781560231691
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
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Status
Central Library X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

Fiction. Gay/Lesbian Studies. New to SPD. A second novel by Bay Area writer Paul Reidinger, whose first novel, The Best Man, was named one of the best novels of 1986 by the American Library Association. In THE CITY KID, he presents Guy Griffith -- gay, 40, and less than satisfied with the current state of his life. He comes to San Francisco like many before him - as a refugee from some intimacy gone disastrously wrong in the huge nation east of the bay. When he meets sixteen-year-old Doug Whitmore on a ridge overlooking a nude beach, he surrenders with pleasure to the boy's radiant adolescent energy. Guy doesn't yet understand how deeply rooted Doug's hurts and confusions are, nor how dangerous they might come to be, and he is not entirely willing to admit, even to himself, how susceptible he is to the fugitive attraction that he and Doug both feel.


Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Guy Griffith has been in San Francisco some two years, living with a female friend after his lover terminated his and Guy's 10-year relationship. Now 40, he is just becoming satisfied with being single. One day he meets 16-year-old Doug Whitmore near a gay beach. They talk elliptically, and when Guy discovers his bike has a flat, Doug gives him a lift. Several weeks later, Doug contacts Guy, and they fall into a mentor relationship limited by the boy's caginess and Guy's wariness. Lightning strikes when Doug's father, Ross, is arrested for public indecency, which precipitates a divorce, Ross acknowledging his homosexuality, and--almost--Doug's exploration of his sexuality with Guy. The boy flees from Guy's apartment into the night, and Guy doesn't see him again until five years later, on the beach. After the rather soap-operatic Good Boys (1993), Reidinger's fourth novel is a welcome return to the moodier, more painful, more morally concerned atmosphere of The Best Man (1986) and Intimate Evil (1989). What's more, Ross Whitmore returns from The Best Man to justify that book's hero David Rice's hurt but helpless skepticism about Ross' marriage. Reidinger reflects on and generalizes from his characters' motives and actions much more than other contemporary novelists, yet his every interpretation rings true, none more than the downbeat ending's implicit endorsement of the adage, like father, like son. ^-Ray Olson


Publisher's Weekly Review

Forbidden romance is the theme of Reidinger's breezy, garrulous debut effort, which begins when 40-year-old Guy Griffith meets "bold, unpredictable" Doug, a plucky teenage boy, at a San Francisco gay beach. Adolescent Doug is wrestling with his newly emerging sexuality and family problems; Guy, single and lonely, is happy to be Doug's confidant. Though Guy is unwilling to acknowledge his feelings at first, eventually he softens, despite being aware of the dire complications and consequences. The pair's flirtatious maneuverings peak in an unexpected--if tame--sleepover. Elaborate plot devices (including a thinly veiled George Michael-like arrest in a park men's room) keep the story moving, but Reidinger seldom allows for a deeper view--only communicating light, fleeting impressions. Occasional brief appearances by Guy's reclusive roommate, Susannah, his muscle-bound friend, Will, and Doug's troubled parents add variety and the beginnings of substance. Reidinger's prosy style is engaging and practical when the narrative is in motion, but too often the story is stalled by needlessly overwritten passages and rambling platitudes. The author is notably adept when describing the lush Northern California backdrop, or when he sporadically affords his central character a humorous, witty voice, but the denouement lacks credible emotional impact, and the novel suffers from a frustrating weightlessness. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved All rights reserved.


Booklist Review

Guy Griffith has been in San Francisco some two years, living with a female friend after his lover terminated his and Guy's 10-year relationship. Now 40, he is just becoming satisfied with being single. One day he meets 16-year-old Doug Whitmore near a gay beach. They talk elliptically, and when Guy discovers his bike has a flat, Doug gives him a lift. Several weeks later, Doug contacts Guy, and they fall into a mentor relationship limited by the boy's caginess and Guy's wariness. Lightning strikes when Doug's father, Ross, is arrested for public indecency, which precipitates a divorce, Ross acknowledging his homosexuality, and--almost--Doug's exploration of his sexuality with Guy. The boy flees from Guy's apartment into the night, and Guy doesn't see him again until five years later, on the beach. After the rather soap-operatic Good Boys (1993), Reidinger's fourth novel is a welcome return to the moodier, more painful, more morally concerned atmosphere of The Best Man (1986) and Intimate Evil (1989). What's more, Ross Whitmore returns from The Best Man to justify that book's hero David Rice's hurt but helpless skepticism about Ross' marriage. Reidinger reflects on and generalizes from his characters' motives and actions much more than other contemporary novelists, yet his every interpretation rings true, none more than the downbeat ending's implicit endorsement of the adage, like father, like son. ^-Ray Olson


Publisher's Weekly Review

Forbidden romance is the theme of Reidinger's breezy, garrulous debut effort, which begins when 40-year-old Guy Griffith meets "bold, unpredictable" Doug, a plucky teenage boy, at a San Francisco gay beach. Adolescent Doug is wrestling with his newly emerging sexuality and family problems; Guy, single and lonely, is happy to be Doug's confidant. Though Guy is unwilling to acknowledge his feelings at first, eventually he softens, despite being aware of the dire complications and consequences. The pair's flirtatious maneuverings peak in an unexpected--if tame--sleepover. Elaborate plot devices (including a thinly veiled George Michael-like arrest in a park men's room) keep the story moving, but Reidinger seldom allows for a deeper view--only communicating light, fleeting impressions. Occasional brief appearances by Guy's reclusive roommate, Susannah, his muscle-bound friend, Will, and Doug's troubled parents add variety and the beginnings of substance. Reidinger's prosy style is engaging and practical when the narrative is in motion, but too often the story is stalled by needlessly overwritten passages and rambling platitudes. The author is notably adept when describing the lush Northern California backdrop, or when he sporadically affords his central character a humorous, witty voice, but the denouement lacks credible emotional impact, and the novel suffers from a frustrating weightlessness. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved All rights reserved.


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