California Screaming

Doug Guinan, Author
Doug Guinan, Author Simon & Schuster $24 (304p) ISBN 978-0-684-84936-2
Reviewed on: 06/01/1998
Release date: 06/01/1998
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-1-55583-539-2
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""The central fact"" that Guinan tells us about his antihero, Kevin Mahony, in the second sentence of this sharp, sassy debut is ""that he was extremely good looking."" Indeed, Kevin's good looks, and the good use to which he puts them, are the central fact of the novel. After fleeing his native New York when his lover's Mafioso father threatens to mess up his pretty face, young Kevin lands in L.A. and proceeds to sleep his way to the top--i.e., the bed of mogul Brad Sherwood (a thinly veiled David Geffen), who moves him from the gay ghetto of West Hollywood to a penthouse on Westmount, gets him work as a photographer, plenty of expensive clothes and a Mercedes. Kevin occasionally suffers a pang of conscience, but mainly he fits right into the world of users, hangers-on and wannabes who populate Guinan's cold, funny, heartless gay L.A. If there is something reminiscent of Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City in Guinan's attention to kitschy detail, his nightmare La-La Land includes none of Maupin's endearing eccentrics. Still, that hardly takes the fun out of this sexy, made-for-the-beach picaresque. (June)
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