Under Heat

Michael David Brown, Author Dutton Books $17.95 (263p) ISBN 978-0-453-00602-6
This is the dark and aching story of a man who goes home to rural Kentucky for a vacation but finds his return to the family dynamic anything but restorative. Dean is gay and newly sober, and has an unspecified job in New Orleans; readers will not learn much more about him. Neither he, his alcoholic brother nor his mother, who drinks to deal with her husband's suicide, are given a surname. Dean is drawn into a drug deal at the behest of his brother; he seduces a young man and is bashed for his homosexuality. Throughout, Dean is less a human being than a generic character whose actions do not propel a plot. Under Heat leaves an aftertaste of fatalism that may well suffuse the lives of homosexual men, but the lack of grounding in specific detail robs Brown's first novel of narrative and emotional force. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Paperback - 978-0-452-26372-7
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