CLOSET CASE by Robert Rodi


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 Clever, lightweight entertainment from the author of Fag Hag (1992--not reviewed): a broad farce about a Chicago account- executive at an ad agency populated by homophobes who lives through a series of embarrassing misadventures--before screaming out his sexual preference to the world. Lionel Frank is a nervous Nellie who pretends by day to be one of the macho boys but at night frequents dance bars and yearns for a male lover. Fortunately, he thinks, the art director at the agency is a lesbian, thereby directing homophobic attention away from him, but she also happens to frequent the same dance club he does, and sees him panting over a nude dancer's equipment. Lionel at one point gets thrown into jail when he's caught in the middle of a Slavic demonstration, where he meets Emil, a straight medical student he longs for. Mostly, though, he bounces around town either alone or in the company of neighbor and confidante Yolanda--until the whole group is sent packing for a weekend together at the Wild Rose, a resort in Wisconsin. Lionel has a wonderful night with David, the owner's son who is leaving the priesthood (Rodi, at the Wild Rose as elsewhere, takes all the easy potshots, especially at the men's movement). Meanwhile, Bob, Yolanda's on-again off-again lover, turns up at the resort with a spear and beats up Lionel before kidnapping him. Finally, though, having had enough of disguises and duplicity, Lionel rises from the lake like a fish and screams out: ``I'M GAY! I'M GAY! I'M GAY! I'M GAAAY!'' In an epilogue, we learn that he's a happy soul, so outfront he even announces to a Chicago cabbie that he's on his way to meet his male lover. Rodi's caricature of office politics is a hoot--but the comedy here is so one-sided and broad that it often misses its target.

Pub Date: May 6th, 1993
ISBN: 0-525-93606-8
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1993


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