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KEPT BOY by Robert Rodi

KEPT BOY

By Robert Rodi

Pub Date: Nov. 25th, 1996
ISBN: 0-525-93926-1
Publisher: Dutton

 Rodi (Drag Queen, 1995, etc.) takes a shot a being the gay MoliƤre and succeeds in pulling off a smart, funny, and terrifically entertaining farce. Dennis Racine, 31, is the title's kept boy, the constant companion, since he was 15, of Farleigh Nock, 63, a wealthy theatrical producer in Chicago. Dennis is pretty self-satisfied, though vaguely wary of loosing his hunky good looks. Living with Farleigh in the producer's large house, sharing space with Farleigh's former kept boy (a queenish Greek named Christos, who does the cooking) and spending Farleigh's endless supply of money, Dennis gets understandably worried when his master turns suddenly cool and distracted. Dennis is late to assume the worst, but when he finally gets a clue, it becomes swiftly apparent that he has a rival for Farleigh's largesse: Jasper Moran, a pool boy whom Farleigh has taken a shine to, going so far as to make him the director of a new staging of an Oscar Wilde play. After several strategies for winning back Farleigh's good graces fail miserably, Dennis conspires with his gigolo brain trust, who urge him to spirit Farleigh away to Greece, thereby freeing him from Jasper's youthful clutches. The farcical quality of the story really takes over once the cast is relocated to the Aegean: Christos begins to act almost butch; a couple of American girls (including Jasper's old girlfriend) join the party--and Jasper shows up. What follows is a zany pilgrimage to the home of Jasper's Greek grandmother, who has violently little patience for fags, and further scheming from Dennis to sour Farleigh on Jasper. What happens after a desperate Dennis decides to seduce Jasper is predictable enough, but it in no way diminishes Rodi's high-speed, at times hilarious tale.