Monday, December 31, 2018
Reviewer: Alan Chin
Publisher: Tiny Fox Press (sept. 2018)
This novel begs the question: Is there such a thing as too much of a good thing? And also: Be careful what you wish for.
Gilbert Eugene Rose is a single, lonely drag queen who sings both cabaret and operatic numbers at a New York City nightclub. His drag name, Kiri De Uwana, is a takeoff from an opera diva because he has aspirations of one day becoming a star on the grand operatic stage. A psychic medium puts Gilbert’s love and career yearnings out into the universe, and within days Gil lands the lead role as a soprano in a production of Così fan tutte. Before Gil—or the reader—can catch his breath, Gil lands a tenor role across town in Rigoletto. To top it off, he is also hired to sing Handel arias at a notorious gangster’s private home. But the fun really begins when it seems everyone Gil meets—men and women—wants to become romantically involved with him.
Thus begins a campy, rapid-fire juggling act that gets quirkier and funnier as the pages turn.
Just as Gil seems to have everything in hand, he realizes that getting involved with a gangster may not have been his shrewdest move. Suddenly, Gil turns from reaching for the stars to running for his life.
Well written prose. Snappy dialogue. Delightful characters. Fiendishly inventive. And ultimately profound. Laury A. Egan has written an utterly enchanting book about reaching a bit too far. It’s the kind of light, entertaining read that lends itself well to summer, to a breezy day at the beach.