Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Sand Bar by Owen Keehnen

Reviewer: Bob Lind, Echo Magazine
Publisher: Lethe Press, May 2012
Pages: 264

Think of Bayetteville as a small Southern river town ... kind of like Mayberry, but with a significant gay (and slutty) population. (Floyd the Barber would have been less lonely!) 

Leo Dunsten is the sole beneficiary of the estate of his uncle, who lived in Bayetteville. In no hurry to go back to a dead-end job, and with an inheritance that offers other possibilities, Leo decides to open the town's first gay bar, which is immediately populated with a colorful assortment of gay, lesbian and "not sure" misfits, who form a rather entertaining, highly dysfunctional "family" of sorts. There's "Sister," who introduces Leo to the more interesting public restrooms. Bruschetta is strong-willed drag queen, always saving for her next cosmetic surgery. Fred is a shy gay boy with an unrequitted crush on a schoolmate, Del, who uses him and others to get what he wants. The book tells their stories, and others', as they celebrate each other's victories and share their defeats. 

This is a remarkable, character-driven book, actually following multiple characters' stories throughout the years, in a realistic,gritty yet lightly humorous way. I enjoyed it quite a bit, and look forward to more from this talented author. Five stars out of five.


1 comment:

ryan field said...

I've been dying to read this. If this is the same Owen Keehnen, I once did some work for him with short stories about eight years ago. He's a nice person to work with, too.