A debut novel by memoirist Kilmer-Purcell (I Am Not Myself These Days, 2006) that follows the adventures of a gay Midwestern, TV-obsessed teenager.
Jayson Blocher has always dreamed of escaping his tiny town of Oconomowoc, Wis., to make it big as a celebrity. But for a time it looks like his story’s climax is going to be tricking his neighbor Trey into kissing him. That is until Jayson’s erratic mother Toni gets stuck in a long-brewing financial and parenting crisis. Toni ships her son off in the middle of the night on a plane to New York to meet the aging movie star Oscard Harlande (Harley), whom she reveals, on the way to the airport, is Jayson’s father. Within the space of a few chapters, Jayson moves into the house from which his father is running a male prostitution ring, falls in love with his childhood TV crush, Devlin Williamson, and becomes a small-time celebrity after cruising into the starring role in a commercial for after-dinner mints. But there’s more. Jayson and Devlin become homeless when the prostitution ring is busted and Harley disappears with Jayson’s money, and the two move into the abandoned building in SoHo that Toni’s new lesbian lover’s drug addict brother calls home. By the time the whole Oconomowoc crew shows up in SoHo, with Jayson’s pregnant friend Tara and his special-needs brother Willie in tow, the novel starts moving into the Spectrum of the Ridiculous. But before this story can end, Jayson has to rush (or, at this point, stagger) back to Oconomowoc to rescue Trey from the perverse social-services cop who has locked him in his basement.
A tale compromised by bizarre plot turns and an unsatisfying ending.