THE SUMMER THEY CAME

William Storandt, Author . Villard $12.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-375-75909-3

The Rhode Island shore plays host to an invasion of sorts in Storandt's comical tale (after Outbound: Finding a Man, Sailing an Ocean) of a seaside town that is discovered and transformed by gay men one summer. Once a destination for the wealthy, Long Spit languishes as a sleepy seaside haven for artists until two Manhattanites transform it into a gay "sex mecca." Within weeks, bed-and-breakfast owners observe a curious spike in business (and one finds a leather sling in one of her rooms). The demographic change has several residents up in arms, but others, like gallery owner Hollis Wynbourne, don't mind. Soon, throngs of muscled sun worshipers descend on Long Spit. Among those hoisting rainbow flags are Jim, a shy plastic surgeon from Nebraska, city gallery owners Tracy and Derek, and nubile Anthony, Hollis's vocal student. All this infuriates right-winger Sam Jenkins, who thinks the town should banish the "weirdo outsider scum" that have taken over. A new nightclub applies for a liquor license, but is challenged by Sam's Community Decency Committee, and soon both sides must deal with a police raid, a hate crime and an illicit affair involving Hollis that garners national attention. An old landmark hotel becomes the site of a giant rave in a rousing, overblown finale. Storandt's large cast of colorful characters is amusing, though seasoned gay readers will find most of their meandering pageantry routine and stereotypical. (May 14)

Forecast:An ingenious "East Coast beach tour" (including Provincetown, Fire Island and Rehoboth Beach) is the perfect way to reach the target market.

Reviewed on: 04/01/2002
Release date: 05/01/2002
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4177-0981-6
Open Ebook - 154 pages - 978-1-58836-055-7
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