Gossip

Gossip

4.6 3
by Christopher Bram
     
 

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Ralph is a breezy East Villager, politically aware but only half committed, who is swept up in an affair with Bill, a young Republican journalist who "just happens" to be gay. Ralph's qualms about dating a man whose values clash with his own turn to disgust when Bill publishes a scathing tell-all book that attacks several prominent women in Washington. Illuminating

Overview

Ralph is a breezy East Villager, politically aware but only half committed, who is swept up in an affair with Bill, a young Republican journalist who "just happens" to be gay. Ralph's qualms about dating a man whose values clash with his own turn to disgust when Bill publishes a scathing tell-all book that attacks several prominent women in Washington. Illuminating the fine line between the personal and the public, Gossip brings wry insights and provocative questions to current political and social controversies. Bram's deft humor and subtle grasp of human character enrich a novel that is at once entertaining, surprising, and wholly original.
• Bram is one of America's most accomplished gay novelists. He has been featured in cover stories in Lambda Book Report and Christopher Street.
• The film of Father of Frankenstein starring Ian McKellen and Brendan Fraser is about to go into production and should raise Bram's profile considerably.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Bram, whose last novel (Father of Frankenstein, 1995) focused on Hollywood in the 1930s, makes a bold, imaginative leap with considerable skill in this new tale, taking on gay involvement in the '90s Republican comeback in Washington.

East Village bookstore worker Ralph Eckhart, a vague, progressive fellow with a few powerful friends, a prominent gay activist and a senator's chief speechwriter among them, is gliding happily through life when he agrees to meet someone from an Internet chatroom and finds his core beliefs challenged. The date, Washington-based Bill O'Connor, is a good kisser, but he's also a rising Republican star, a right-wing journalist with a book trashing Hillary about to come out. Strange bedfellows indeed, Ralph and Bill hit it off, even going together to a Christian Coalition conference on the family where Bill is the featured speaker. But when Ralph discovers that his lover's book also accuses a lesbian speechwriter, his best friend, of an affair with her boss, he indignantly ends the relationship. Unfortunately, Bill is murdered soon after their breakup, and Ralph is jailed as the prime suspect. His activist friend Nick jumps to his defense, making his a cause célèbre exemplifying knee-jerk homophobia, but as the media machine cranks up in his favor, Ralph is shaken to discover that Nick is in fact also an FBI informer, and the one who turned him in. Freed before the case comes to trial, Ralph then unwittingly stumbles on the trail of the real murderer and has to face the consequences.

It's hard to bring this sort of story off with such a low-key protagonist, and the plot has more than a few idle moments. But ultimately this is a closely wrought psychological portrait of both a decent man and the sharply divided gay world he inhabits. In hindsight, the story seems at least as subtle as it is slow.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780452273382
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
04/01/1998
Edition description:
REPRINT
Pages:
338
Product dimensions:
5.38(w) x 7.96(h) x 0.93(d)

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Gossip 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Jarvbear48 More than 1 year ago
Christopher Bram is one of my most favorite authors. I have read most of his books, but apparently missed this one. I have yet to be dissapointed by any of his work. This story moves right along as he deals with issues that truly plague gay LGBT culture. Dr. August still remains for me his best.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Gossip' is one of those 'read until 3am 'cause you just can't put it down' novels. You, too, will be caught up in the Washington gossip wheel, the neck-breaking speed of a murder investigation, and the torrid love affair of two seemingly different yet appealing men, one a closeted Washingtonian, another an 'out, proud, and loud' New Yorker.' The sense that you're on a train bound for disaster is palpable. How one character (insert self here) could end up in such desperate, dire circumstances-when it becomes hard to breathe-is truly mind reeling and dizzying. A totally satisfying read! Read it...trust me.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I cannot believe that I am the first person writing a review for this great book! Previously, I had read 'Father of Frankenstein' and 'The Notorious Dr. August' by Mr. Bram, which were excellent. 'Gossip' was totally beyond anything I imagined. A great story. Realistic characters. Plus, the story is a slow boiling, escalating whodunnit. Bravo, Mr. Bram. A real page-turner. You will be up until the middle of the night reading it.