Cover image for Show & tell
Show & tell
George, Nelson.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Scribner Paperback Fiction, [2001]

Physical Description:
223 pages ; 21 cm
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
FICTION Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
FICTION Adult Fiction Urban Fiction

On Order

Central Library1Received on 2/16/05



After a steamy weekend with his girlfriend, successful TV producer, Dean Chance, receives an unhappy ultimatum from her: marry me or leave me alone. Into this moment of uncertainty strolls Bee Cole, a mysterious woman who unleashes a world of trouble - and some startling sexual adventures. Soon, what started as a love triangle is revealed to be a foursome - Dean, Millie, Bee and the unknown puppeteer who pulls their strings. A fast-paced and evocative romantic mystery fuelled by lust, technology and a fascinating exploration of New York's sexual underworld.

Author Notes

Nelson George is the author of several non-fiction books, including "The Death of Rhythm & Blues" & "Hip Hop America", both nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, & three novels, "One Woman Short", "Seduced", & the "Essence" Blackboard bestseller "Urban Romance". An award-winning journalist, he is also an accomplished screenwriter (including "Strictly Business" & "CB-4") & an Emmy Award-winning producer of HBO's "The Chris Rock Show". He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

George's novel is about love, lust, deceit, and jealousy. In the world of cybersex, Millie James finds herself intrigued by voyeurism, which she can enjoy via the Internet. Millie keeps that aspect of her sexuality hidden from her fiance, Dean Chance, a successful TV producer. Millie's secret is just one element of the scandal that threatens her relationship with Dean. Yet the situation becomes even more explosive when Dean meets Bee Cole, a rap video director, in a seemingly happenstance manner. Millie's e-mail obsession brings her in contact with a man who uses information from their chats to seek revenge. These four characters engage in a downward sexual spiral that exposes their relationships to unimaginable tests. These love affairs confirm for each of them just how valuable their relationship is. George, having tapped into a subject not frequently written about, offers a tale that is sure to captivate readers down to the very last e-mail message. --Lillian Lewis

Publisher's Weekly Review

The author of The Death of Rhythm and Blues and Hip Hop America both nominated for National Book Critics Circle Awards in nonfiction turns to fiction once again (One Woman Short, etc.), producing a titillating if unsatisfying novel of buppie angst. Set in Manhattan, it opens with a weekend of Godiva chocolates and gymnastic sex in a midtown hotel room and, despite its efforts at social commentary, never climbs much higher. Dean Chance is the producer of a TV talk show on the verge of change: in a quest for higher ratings, the host decides to forgo quality and feature racier program content. Dean's personal life is also about to undergo a major shakeup. Having just proposed to longtime girlfriend Millie Jackson, Dean meets Bee Cole, a take-charge woman in and out of bed, who seduces Dean while Millie is out of town on business. Furthermore, and unbeknownst to him, a fourth party is observing Dean's every move, perhaps even orchestrating his assignations. Meanwhile, in the cybersex world of e-mails and chat rooms, Millie is undergoing her own sexual reawakening. Will Dean and Millie's relationship survive when each learns of the other's escapades? George, also an Emmy-winning producer of HBO's The Chris Rock Show, provides an amusing, behind-the-scenes look at talk-show production, but the "taboo" sexual story line is s&m lite 9-1/2 Weeks territory, and about as provocative as a lava lamp. A glut of coincidences ("yet something about the face was familiar") and clumsy similes ("emasculated tears, like those of an aging athlete realizing the game had passed him by") drag things down even further. The book succeeds in doing what the fictional show within it promises: straddling the line between Springer and Oprah. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

This male-authored, African American urban romance novel is virtually a genre unto itself. The narrator and main character, Dean Chance, is a savvy but frustrated TV talk show producer who is engaged to one black woman but becomes intimately involved with another. As in many contemporary romances, all of the women are gorgeous and sexually insatiable, and most of the men are buff, bedroom Olympians. While the novel does introduce us to the eccentricities and local color of late-night and after-hour yuppie (or "buppie") New York (and even to the depressing absurdities of talk show production), it is lightweight enough to make Terry McMillan compare favorably to Toni Morrison which is a shame, because George is a provocative and insightful social commentator on contemporary urban life and African American expressive culture (Hip Hop America). Not recommended, though libraries with large African American collections may want to purchase. Roger Berger, Everett Community Coll., WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Chapter Five I stop in Barneys once a month. Not necessarily to buy anything but because I love to fondle a well-made suit. That may sound strange, and, if it does, so be it. I derive great pleasure from admiring pliant natural fabrics stitched together with an artist's eye and a craftsman's needle. In particular, I enjoy the soft, silky linings of a good suit, the kind that when you wear the right linen shirt rubs sweetly against your nipples. Encased snuggly in a well-lined suit, my body feels like it's being hugged through long days of meetings and ass kissing. On this afternoon I'd sneaked out of the office and cabbed it over to the East Side to luxuriate in the uncomplicated pleasures of fondling fine fabric. I was on one knee in the Donna Karan section, touching the interior of a charcoal gray double-breasted number when a woman's voice asked me a strange question: "Which would you prefer?" I turned and found two long, slender pieces of fabric dangling before me. On the right was a navy blue tie with small, subdued white diamonds arranged evenly across -- a tie that would have made Newt Gingrich happy. Next to it was a Pucci tie spiced with bright, confrontational yellows and purples that would have brought joy to a Mediterranean gigolo. Presenting both ties carefully, like a doctor does a newborn to its mother, were long female fingers tipped with beautifully manicured nails. The ties were so close to my eyes that the questioner's face was a blur. "Excuse me?" "Which tie would you prefer? If you were buying." The face slowly came into focus. Her skin was brown with a burnished red undertone. Her eyes were slender and vaguely Asian. She had a wide, full mouth and angular cheekbones that made her look both totally African and totally Native American, a blend that gave her face drama. Her legs had a sturdy I-love-the-Stairmaster shape visible through sheer black stockings. As I stood up I noticed the black skirt, gray sweater and black jacket that covered the rest of her lean, athletic body. Though she was dressed as a businesswoman, her body had the coiled energy of a sprinter just before the starter's gun. "Well," I began, "that depends. What kind of man are you buying it for?" She smiled -- a very weird one too -- outwardly inviting, yet chilly as well. "Someone," she said casually, "who looks like you." "Okay," I said, trying to hide how unnerved I was by her insistent gaze. "If I were buying a tie today, I'd buy that one." I reached out and rubbed the blue tie between my thumb and forefinger. "That's what I thought." She slid the blue tie from her fingers while I smiled, expecting more conversation, some banter and a formal introduction. Instead she turned in her black slip-ons and walked toward the counter. A white salesman, who seemed quite pleased to serve her, inquired, "You want both ties, miss?" "No," she said firmly, "just this one." She handed the salesman the more adventurous Pucci tie and laid the blue one on the counter as if it were diseased. When told the purchase would cost $110, she pulled out a platinum American Express card and then cut me a sardonic, amused look, as if she was enjoying some private joke with a punch line that eluded me. I watched her for some gesture that suggested I come over. Nothing. She just leaned down to sign her bill. I mean, I shouldn't have cared. After all, I was engaged. Still, I had an ego. I really would have enjoyed turning that lovely lady down. "Mr. Chance." It was Gene, a cool gay salesman who often helped me with my selections. "See anything you like today?" I didn't answer immediately, so he followed my eyes to the counter and smirked. "Afraid I can't help you with that purchase." I said, "Yeah, well, looks like somebody already bought that merchandise." "You think so?" he replied doubtfully. "I don't know, Mr. Chance. She looks like she owns herself." Like a first-class sucker, I stood there watching this sexy lady, awaiting a parting glance, a smile, a nod. Just some continuation of this little game. Nada. She turned and moved away from me. Felt like it was July and I'd just missed the ice cream truck. I hadn't started it. Guess it wasn't for me to finish. "So," Gene started, "how's Millie these days?" "Away, Gene," I replied. "Very far away." Rain was falling as I exited onto Madison Avenue. A pewter shroud blocked out the sky. Spring rain usually makes me happy but I was still a little upset at being toyed with upstairs. Disgruntlement became irritation when a cab slowed down and then jetted past me to pick up a white woman half a block away. I was about to flag down another cab when a black sedan swerved in front of me, blocking the cab and damn near rolling over my foot. Incensed, I walked over to the limo driver's window and slammed my palm against the sedan's hood. The driver, a burly brother with world-weary eyes, made an It's-not-me gesture with his hands and then aimed a thumb at his passenger. The sedan's tinted rear window rolled down and I, now even more irritated, stormed back to curse out the passenger. Out of the dark backseat a woman's voice said: "Looks like you could use a lift." Instead of seeing a face, my eyes focused on a beautiful pair of bare feet. Coming out of the dark like a ship through fog was the face of the woman with the ties. It was one of those moments when a second is an hour and reality cracks like an egg. "Come on. Get in." I was in the backseat before I knew it. We were gliding across Sixtieth Street before I felt myself sit down. It seemed like I should say something, so I mumbled, "Thanks. I appreciate it." "My pleasure. Where to? Midtown, I'd imagine." "Yeah. Good guess. Fifty-seventh Street and Tenth." I sat there awkwardly waiting for her to introduce herself. A few more seconds passed and she just chilled. So I stuck out my hand and told her, "My name's Dean Chance." She caressed my hand when she touched it and said, "Bee Cole." Then she addressed the driver. "You're going to take Mr. Chance to Fifty-seventh and Tenth after you drop me off." He nodded quickly and hooked a left onto Fifth. It was her move and she made it decisively. "Take your shoes off." "Excuse me?" That amused smile appeared and again she requested, "Take your shoes off." She raised up her beautiful shoeless feet and wiggled her toes. "I don't allow people to wear shoes in my house," she explained, "and this car is where I'm living now. So..." Reluctantly I complied, slipping off my black loafers, an action that, under her gaze, made me feel absolutely naked. Bee smiled again. Her full lips and sharp white teeth both aroused and chilled me. Neither ashamed nor embarrassed, Bee boldly surveyed my feet. If I'd felt naked before, now I felt raped. It was eerie how the removal of my shoes and this woman's stare had so clouded my mind. "So, Mr. Chance -- " "Dean," I said, trying again to gain some control. "So, Dean, you married or divorced?" I should have answered forthrightly, with no ducking or dodging. Instead I answered, "I'm seeing someone." If that wasn't weak enough, I volunteered, "We're almost married." "Almost married?" She found that funny. "What did P-Funk say? That's like standing on the verge of getting it on. Is this condition a good or bad thing?" I said forcefully -- perhaps too earnestly -- "We're engaged and it's a very good thing." For a moment it got quiet. Then she started staring at my feet again. So I suggested, "Maybe I should put my shoes back on." Looking up at my face, she wondered out loud, "Why?" "The smell. My woman complains I sweat a lot." "Nothing wrong with a man sweating," she replied. Then Bee admitted, "But I'm staring at your feet, aren't I?" She actually blushed and giggled. A good sign, I thought. A real human moment. Maybe Bee wasn't just a sexy psycho. So I chuckled and agreed, "Well, yeah, you are." I was beginning to relax when Bee flipped it again. "Don't mind me, Dean," she said matter-of-factly, "I just like looking at a man's extremities." I got that worried and aroused feeling again, but my new friend wasn't through. "I'm not looking for length, Dean. That feet-equals-length thing is for fools. It doesn't matter how long or small a man's feet are, it's the way they're put together that impresses me." She gave my feet the once-over again and then the car pulled up to the curve. We were in the Fifties near Rockefeller Center. "I get off here," she announced. "Let me have your business card." I reached into my wallet and handed it to her. She looked at it and was, I believe, impressed. When I asked for hers, Bee grinned and told me, "I don't have any with me right now." Clearly she was lying, but that was cool. If she made a habit of picking up men in Barneys, I guess she had to be on the DL. "Thanks for the ride, Bee," I said as she exited. "Talk to you soon." "Really?" I replied, hoping to squeeze a real answer out of her. Instead of another mysterious reply, Bee just reached back and kissed me on the cheek. The driver popped open an umbrella and escorted her to the lobby. From inside the car I watched her walk away from me and wondered if I'd ever see her again and, if I did, would that be a good thing. Copyright © 2001 by Nelson George Excerpted from Show and Tell: A Novel by Nelson George All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.