Publishers Weekly - Publishers WeeklyJeffrey's breezy debut is a modest effort that follows four young, image-conscious New York gay men as they attempt to recalibrate their out-of-whack love lives while looking their best in the latest designer fashions. Carson St. John, editor-in-chief of trendy Throb magazine (the "gay guy's Cosmo"), has just returned from bedding a hustler in Los Angeles in time for brunch with his three best friends-entertainment lawyer Danny Kimura, aspiring gallery owner Nathan Williams and high school teacher Rob Cahill. Each friend has an urgent romantic dilemma. Rob is foolishly dating the father of one of his students; Danny initiates an affair with Leo, a client who happens to be lead singer of the hot boy-band "Four Deep"; and Nathan falls for a druggie thug/artist named Panther. Not to be outdone, Carson dumps his boyfriend, Rocco, for a married consultant hired to revamp the magazine's image. Each romantic misstep spells over-the-top drama, leaving Carson musing aloud about what it is that gay men really want in a potential partner. Jeffrey opts for implausible saccharine endings for the quartet, but it hardly matters since these characters are paper-thin and virtually indistinguishable. Jeffrey's rapid-fire one-liners, pop culture references and simplistic plot will go down easy as long as readers don't expect any literary nourishment. (Nov.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus ReviewsThe beautiful people, and aren't they just horrible. Throb is the hottest gay men's magazine in New York, and editor-in-chief Carson St. John knows what he wants to give his audience: fun, purposeless fluff packed full of hot guys. They love him for it; as a male escort tells Carson post-coitally, "You don't bring us down with a bunch of political crap or scare us to death with health news." Carson seems to work on his magazine about five minutes a day, when he's not image-tending (which includes getting colonics to temporarily lose weight) or hanging out with his Benetton-ad clique: teacher Rob Cahill, hotshot entertainment lawyer Danny Kimura, and Nathan Williams, scion of an elite black family and rising star in the art gallery world. They've all got romance issues, of course. The married consultant hired to give Throb a boost in circulation doesn't mind having a fling with Carson but won't leave his wife. Rob is dating the too-perfect father of one of his too-jaded students. Danny has made the mistake of sleeping with one of his clients, lead singer of the hit boy band Four Deep. Nathan has made the mistake of starting up with one of his gallery's artists, a gangster no-talent who calls himself Panther. First-novelist Jeffrey shuffles and deals out these plotlets in no particular order, confining his characters to the most obvious, pop-culture-drenched, shallow one-liners, packed on every a page. That's not to say it's all a bad thing. Far too many scenes rival the most tweaked-out soap opera for grandiose ridiculousness, but the primary storyline is no more than a wisp of an idea rarely even referred to. And thank goodness: Carson's killer idea for the magazine is . . . BoyfriendMaterial Trading Cards. Thinner than paint and often horrendously written, but at least it never pretends to be anything but what it is.
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