Plastic Jesus [NOOK Book]

Overview


The 1960's brought Seth and Payton all they'd fantasized about--perfect friendships, a successful four-man band, and most importantly, each other. Together they embarked on a tour that brought them stimulating highs and shattering lows, and they prospered and suffered in one another's arms. The two men carried each other and carried a group that created both a history and a future for rock. But at some point their music blurred with the news of their love and the world was faced with the choice to embrace its ...
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Plastic Jesus

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Overview


The 1960's brought Seth and Payton all they'd fantasized about--perfect friendships, a successful four-man band, and most importantly, each other. Together they embarked on a tour that brought them stimulating highs and shattering lows, and they prospered and suffered in one another's arms. The two men carried each other and carried a group that created both a history and a future for rock. But at some point their music blurred with the news of their love and the world was faced with the choice to embrace its heroes or revert back to its deep-rooted prejudices. 
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Brite trades the modern gothic gloom that has chilled most of her fiction to date (Lost Souls; Exquisite Corpse; etc.) for sunny '60s nostalgia in this warm but slight roman clef celebrating the Beatles. In her version, the fab four are the Kydds, Liverpool is Leyborough and Lennon and McCartney are, respectively, Seth Grealy and Peyton Masters, creative soulmates whose music takes the world by storm. The twist that turns this homage into one of Brite's trademark explorations of sexual identity is her depiction of Grealy and Masters's working relationship blossoming into a gay romance. The boys' love for one another is an inevitable outgrowth of the feelings they express in song--but it becomes a point of public controversy that breaks the band apart and sets up Seth for his murder by homophobic assassin Ray Brinker. Though Brite is sensitive in her portrayal of Grealy and Masters's relationship, she is almost too reverent in her fidelity to Beatlemania. The brief tale moves too rapidly and reflexively through well-known historical highlights--the band's adoption by manager Brian Epstein (incarnated here as gay record store owner Harold Loomis), their experiments in music and drugs, their vilification by the religious right--for events to have any resonance with the central love story. It ends with a wistful wish-fulfillment fantasy too improbable to support its professed moral that "love is worth dying for." In an afterword, Brite reveals she had originally plotted this tale as a full-length novel. Greater length might have yielded greater substance than this fannish tribute. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Kirkus Reviews
In earlier fiction, Brite used the music of Charlie Parker, the life and art of R. Crumb (the brilliant Drawing Blood, 1993), the necrophilia of Jeffrey Dahmer, and the anchovy shape and wormwood flavor of H. P. Lovecraft as entrance points into her own sparkling fantasy life in print. This time, it's John Lennon and Paul McCartney. The fact remains that Brite's most original novel is still her first, Lost Souls (1992), a wildly eloquent, Deep South blues and rock 'n' roll variation on vampirism among white-trash musicians, a work seemingly not based on famous originals, though we could be wrong. Plastic Jesus, a novella also illustrated by the author, turns Lennon and McCartney into Seth Grealy and Peyton Masters, who begin as straights with girls crawling all over them but later become lovers and even are married by a rogue priest in one of Amsterdam's newly legalized cannabis coffee shops. The career of the two, beginning with teenage years in Leyborough (read Liverpool), follows quite closely that of the Beatles, although Ringo and George (as Dennis and Mark) are barely minor characters. The first turning point comes when the musicians' manager, Harold (read Brian), more or less seduces Seth and is later murdered by some rough trade. Seth goes into a deep slump from which only Peyton's love can rescue him, a love, however, that also gives Peyton control of the band. The lovers go public at Stonewall Inn after the gay riots in Greenwich Village. Seth is assassinated, and afterward Peyton goes to Seth's shrink, Jonathan Pumphrey, and tells him their life-story. The story's thin suspense comes when Peyton focuses on killing the assassin.Missing:Brite's lyricism and soaring fantasy (as when R. Crumb physically enters Parker's music in Birdland), the very qualities germane to psychedelics, the Beatles, and the Peter Max years. Here, the originals overpower Brite's march of whimsy.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781497625853
  • Publisher: Open Road Media
  • Publication date: 4/1/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 168
  • Sales rank: 392,753
  • File size: 418 KB

Meet the Author


Poppy Z. Brite is the author of four horror novels, LOST SOULS, DRAWING BLOOD, EXQUISITE CORPSE, and THE LAZARUS HEART; two short story collections, WORMWOOD (also published as SWAMP FOETUS) and ARE YOU LOATHSOME TONIGHT? (published in the UK as SELF-MADE MAN); and a biography of rock diva Courtney Love. She edited two anthologies of erotica, LOVE IN VEIN and LOVE IN VEIN 2. She wrote and illustrated the novella PLASTIC JESUS for Subterranean Press. She has been publishing a series of novels set in the New Orleans restaurant business, titles include LIQUOR: A NOVEL (2004), PRIME: A NOVEL (2005) and SOUL KITCHEN: A NOVEL (2006). She lives in New Orleans with her husband. 
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Read an Excerpt

i

Seth Grealy's knees buckled and he went down like a house of cards as five bullets tore into him.

What had come out of the cold New York night to inflict this pain? He didn't know, hadn't seen it coming at all though a part of him had expected it for most of his forty-five years. He'd thought it would happen onstage, though, something well-aimed and high-caliber if he was lucky. Not right here outside his building, almost home.

He knew he'd been shot, had heard each pop separately and clearly, a long pause between the third and the final two, as he spun and hit the sidewalk. Had felt the bullets enter his back, his throat. Wasn't the body supposed to go into shock, to start churning out its own natural painkillers? Maybe he'd fucked up his system with all the artificial ones over the years, for the pain was voracious, unforgiving.

The doorman was kneeling over him now, red-coated arms spread wide, protecting him from curious passersby. Where was Peyton? He'd thought his partner was right behind him as he got out of the limo.

"Oh my God, it's Seth Grealy!" a woman screamed. "They've shot Seth Grealy!"

Seth rolled his head a little to the side, perceived the woman as a large colorful shape squatting nearby, doing something to the sidewalk--what?--soaking a scrap of paper in the spreading pool of his blood. The doorman made a grab for her, but the woman was off with her priceless souvenir. Like Dillinger, Seth thought dazedly, not sure if that was right.

"Mr. Grealy, Mr. Grealy, can you hear me? The ambulance is coming."

"I think it may as well take its time," he wanted to say, but what came out was little more than a wetgasp. He felt blood gobbing from his mouth, cascading down his chin. For the first time since he'd hit the sidewalk, Seth Grealy considered the possibility that he was about to die.

Why did the thought make him feel sunlight on his face? There was no sunlight here, only the winter night, the cold wind sweeping off the park, the huge, paralyzing pain.

The ambulance cut its siren as it turned onto the block, but left its red bubbles revolving, washing the faces of the crowd, the black puddle on the sidewalk, the stone façade of the apartment building with a bloody light. The paramedics descended upon him, and Seth could have sworn he saw one of them shake her head--This one's not gonna make it--before they hoisted him into the back of the ambulance.

"Shot the fuck out of him, hunh?" said somebody waiting in the back.

"Shut up, man, I think he's still conscious--"

The medic who'd spoken first was fitting a plastic mask over Seth's nose and mouth. "Shit, this ain't doin' any good, the oxygen's just comin' out those holes in his throat."

The woman medic's voice rose. "I said he might still be conscious, Washington!"

Washington's eyes crinkled in disbelief, then sought Seth's. "Mr. Grealy? Can you hear me? Do you know who you are?"

He thought he managed a little nod, but Washington didn't get it. The big face loomed closer. "DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE?"

A philosophical approach was called for, then; had he ever? Through all the money and drugs, through all the women and men, at the heights of his art and the depths of his insane fame, even with Peyton, had he ever known who he was?

The implications of this question seemed vast, and Seth let himself drift on them until he felt the sunlight touching his face again.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2000

    Imagine...

    What if... a great concept that works exceptionally well in the case of 'Plastic Jesus'. What if two of the world's biggest rock stars were queer for each other. Just imagine the possibilities. Such is the case for two members of The Kydds...the hottest group around. Ms. Brite - in this short but oh so sweet novella - lovingly creates that world and takes us not only on a wonderful trip, but also for a stroll down memory lane. Pick this up. It is worth every penny.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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