The Tourists

Jeff Hobbs, Author . Simon & Schuster $24 (323p) ISBN 978-0-7432-9095-1

An unnamed narrator details the post-Yale love triangle of three people much, much wealthier than he in Hobbs's Gatsby -meets-McInerney debut. Unlike Nick Carraway or the persistent "You" of Bright Lights Big City , the speaker at the heart of this novel is more cipher than seer. A shiftless New York freelancer edging into his 30s, the narrator discovers that his Yalie friend—handsome, gay Ethan Hoevel, famous designer of sleek contemporary furniture—has left his boyfriend, Stanton Vaughn, to pursue a doomed relationship with their fellow alum—the married (and female) Samona Taylor (née Ashley). The narrator still carries a torch for Samona, and renews his friendship with Samona's husband, the also-Yalie Merrill Lynch trader David Taylor, mostly out of a morbid curiosity about Samona's philandering. Hobbs spends much of the novel recounting how everyone got where they are in the eight years following college, but the plot picks up in the last third, when Ethan's ne'er-do-well brother precipitates a crisis, and Ethan and Samona's affair has its reckoning. Hobbs convincingly portrays young, Ivied New Yorkers with money, but he leaves the narrator's feelings for Samona (and much else) largely unexplored, making the proceedings feel unresolved. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 02/12/2007
Release date: 04/01/2007
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 323 pages - 978-0-7432-9096-8
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4165-3972-8
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