SUNDAY'S CHILD by Edward Phillips


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A gay Montreal lawyer accidentally kills a young hustler and disposes of the body--in this superficially stylish first novel, which fills out a paper-thin, derivative plot with the narrator-hero's chirpy musings on his sex life, his past, and the homosexual sensibility. Geoffry Chadwick, 50, is lonely on New Year's Eve 1979-80 (pre-AIDS); he picks up a handsome youth, who turns out to be a robber; when Geoffry fights back the kid winds up dead. So, determined to retain his respectability, Geoffry freezes the corpse, dismembers it, and drops off the various pieces around town over a period of several days--with occasional moments of panic or danger. In between these excursions, there are recollections--of Geoffry's brief but happy early marriage (ended by a car crash); of his subsequent shift to homosexual affairs, including an intense romantic liaison, recently ended, with a married schoolteacher. There are descriptions of Geoffry's current encounters with his nasty old mother, his campy/ boozy chum Larry, and his 20-ish nephew--who cheerfully announces his own homosexuality. And here and there, when not discussing food, clothes, or home furnishings (""scratch a queen and an amateur decorator bleeds through""), Geoffry flirts--not very seriously--with feelings of guilt: ""Will I end up like Lady Macbeth, prowling Winnifred's house in my terrycloth judo robe, one size fits all, carrying a flash light with Duracell batteries, taking frequent showers with Dove so as not to dry my skin, and muttering that all the after shave lotion in Ogilvy's will not sweeten this little hand."" Negligible as black-comic suspense, shallow and dated (dense with clichÉs and stereotypes) in its campy profile of gay self-esteem--but smooth and painless overall.

Pub Date: Sept. 21st, 1987
Publisher: St. Martin's