Fourteen-year-old Dillon is a self-described nerdy band fag in desperate need of a summer reprieve from gym class and torment by the school jock. Alas, that isn't to be -- not after his born-again mother, Lana, stumbles across his stash of empty wine bottles and Sears catalog pages featuring scantily-clad male models. Alarmed at the diabolic evidence of Dillon's drunken, perverted nocturnal hobbies, Lana concludes that Bible Camp is his only hope.
But before he can say "hallelujah, " Dillon's salvation materializes -- fabulously shirtless and smoking a French cigarette. Perpetually on the lam, Uncle Max needs a place to hang -- and hide out -- for awhile. Hot on his heels is an entourage that includes his parole officer, Meredith; his sexy mountaineer boyfriend, Serge; and fellow con artist/antiques dealer, Jane Nguyen.
Sprung from the proverbial closet, Dillon finds himself under Uncle Max's supervision for the summer, which entails Hitchcock films, Balzac novels, and a crash course in crime as Max and Jane's sidekick.
As July gives way to steamy August, and as the cops close in, one thing is certain -- for Dillon, nothing will ever be the same again.
Chris Kenry is the exciting new author of three gay fiction titles. His debut novel Can't Buy Me Love and collection of stories Summer Share are both available from Turnaround.
A wacky, long-lost relative instructs a nerdy Denver teenager on gay life, love, rock-climbing and larceny in Kenry's zippy second addition (after Can't Buy Me Love) to gay fiction's fluff shelf. Clarinet-playing Dillon, "an awkward, ugly, all-too-ordinary suburban adolescent," has his hands full fending off the school bully and dealing with Lana, his boozy, floozy mother. Less-than-divine Christian intervention produces a sobered-up, born-again Lana, who wants Dillon to attend Bible school at the advice of her boyfriend, Wayne, the assistant pastor at church. Dillon, however, is more interested in the men's underwear section of the Sears catalogue and the contents of Lana's wine cellar. Found drunk in band class, he's suspended. A sudden hailstorm signals the arrival of flamboyant, shifty con artist Uncle Max, fresh out of prison, followed closely by his parole officer and Serge, his rock-climbing boyfriend. Needy Dillon quickly becomes entangled in Max's shoplifting jaunts, which escalate to elaborate insurance scams and several home robberies, assisted by antiques dealer and partner-in-crime Jane Nguyen. Still, Max finds time to counsel his nephew on clothes, men and his blossoming homosexuality, and Dillon grows increasingly enamored with his uncle. Dillon's days of thievery become "almost narcotic" until a narrow escape while robbing a million-dollar mansion forces him to reconsider his life of crime. Kenry has a knack for spinning clichd, banal material into endearingly comical, featherweight entertainment. The great leap to more substantial literary terrain feels but a book or two away for this talented author. National advertising. (May 7) Forecast: The cartoon cover art is cute, but doesn't do the book justice. Kenry's name may draw some readers in. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
"Zippy... endearingly comical" - Publishers Weekly on Uncle Max "With his clever comic observations and rapid-fire dialogue, Chris Kenry is a smart and funny writer" - The Advocate on Can't Buy Me Love