I really wish this book would be bought by Hollywood and turned into a romantic comedy. But, since the movie-going market refuses to like gay romances, it seems unlikely. Sigh.
Title: The Ghost Slept Over
Author: Marshall Thornton
Publisher: MLR Press
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
From the Publisher:
When Cal Parsons travels to rural New York to claim the estate of his estranged ex-partner he discovers something he wasn’t expecting…the ghost of his ex!
When failed actor Cal Parsons travels to rural New York to claim the estate of his famous and estranged ex-partner, he discovers something he wasn’t expecting…the ghost of his ex! And worse, his ex invites Cal to join him for all eternity. As Cal attempts to rid himself of the ghost by any means, he begins to fall for the attractive attorney representing the estate. Will Cal be able to begin a new relationship or will he be seduced into the ever after?
“A highly entertaining tale of the ex who wouldn’t leave, with a hilarious cast of characters you won’t soon forget.” Eden Winters, author of Diversion.
Marshall Thornton is best known to me for the “Boystown” books; his gritty and authentic detective series set in early 1980s Chicago featuring gay ex-cop Nick Nowack. “The Ghost Slept Over” is a departure, and a truly delightful one.
A comic romance about a struggling LA actor who inherits a fortune from a long-ago ex, it is also the sort of small-town farce that reminds me of the Christopher Guest film “Waiting for Guffman” and the classic film by Noel Coward, “Blithe Spirit.” There is really nothing in this book that is entirely new for this genre, which is why Marshall’s deft comic writing skills are so important. He is a funny writer, and left me chuckling all the way through the narrative. The main characters, Cal and Dewey (the actor and his small-town lawyer) are by no means deep psychological portraits; but we learn more than enough about them to understand who they are, and to feel like they’re friends. Indeed, Cal at first seems shallow and opportunistic – but that feeling gradually gives way to something more sympathetic as we learn how he got to where he is.
It’s also important that the main characters in the book are all gay and all out in the context of small-town America. Dewey tosses out the line “there are more homophobes than homos” in his town, as he ponders the difficulty presented by dating for gay men in quaint, isolated Marlboro. And yet, he lives his life openly and without any hesitation or shame. He has found happiness away from a big gay population center. He’s likable and admirable. As gay as he was, Noel Coward was all about amusing his straight audiences with innuendo and sly asides. None of his plays ever confronted actual gay men living gay lives (yeah, yeah, it was the time, I know, I know). For me, that makes this book important.
So I want everyone who likes this book to make good use of their extensive Hollywood industry connections. Let’s see if we can get it made into a film before Matt Bomer gets too old to play Cal, or Russell Tovey too old to play Dewey. Hey, I can always dream.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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