Author: Richard Natale
Length: 24 pages
Publisher: Torque Press (September 3, 2013)
Heat Level: None
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥ 2.5 Hearts
Blurb: Marcus moves to New York to party and have sex with every man he’s attracted to. Then he runs into Griff and his killer smile and is drawn into an all-consuming affair. He tries to break it off several times, but while his mind says “go”, his feet say “stay.”
Review: Well the story is in 24 pages so one cannot expect much story, character or plot development to occur. Stories of this length are usually about a single scene or occurrence. This story, however, occurs over the course of a year. Now the title is clear in that the key elements occur in 9 weeks.
The story is set in New York City in 1975. Marcus has left Pittsburgh and his best friend to pursue life in the big apple. Enter Griff and his interactions with Marcus. Marcus has plans like all young men to conquer the city and to sleep his way through all five burrows. However, his plan is derailed by Griff. The pages detail the nine week relationship which the two men share and how Marcus moves from singlehood into couplehood without even realizing it.
The story reads more like a magazine article chronicling how two men meet more so than a novel type story about two men. Instead of ‘seeing’ the interaction between the characters, it’s related to the reader through third-party narration, which is what gives it an article feel. The author uses language well and the overall feel of the story was hazy, almost like reading the story through a filmy veil. It gave a nice ‘feel’ to the story even if you feel like you needed more substance to hold on to.
The best part of the story is actually the interaction between Marcus and his best friend where the author uses dialogue very well to accomplish explaining Marcus’ feelings for Griff. The story would have been fuller had the author used the same technique between Griff and Marcus.
I liked the plot premise immensely and being set in 1975 could have been an amazing backdrop for the story. I hope the author goes back and makes this into a full novel and explores the relationship between Marcus and Griff, and continues to use the secondary characters to aid in the character development for both Marcus and Griff. The author takes great pains to ‘tell’ the reader how Griff is rather than showing us through is interaction his Marcus and his friends. He’s also civic-minded and that could have added great texture to the story.
All in all, it’s a GREAT story idea, but at 24 pages, it’s really a summary. I REALLY hope the author makes this a longer novel; even doubling it could accomplish spectacular things.