Hundred Days from Now

Steven Corbin, Author Alyson Books $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-55583-232-2
The author of Fragments That Remain has written a potentially powerful gay-themed novel that is ultimately undermined by cliches and a tendency to tell rather than to show. When Sergio Gutierrez picks up African American screenwriter Dexter Baldwin in an L.A. bar, the two embark on a relationship that spirals downward to Sergio's AIDS-related bone-marrow transplant in a Baltimore hospital. (The critical 100 days immediately following the operation provide the book's title.) Unfortunately, Corbin's matter-of-fact tone and by-the-numbers explication of the affair's progress--or lack thereof--makes it difficult for readers to respond emotionally. And while Sergio's ``self-inflicted homophobia'' might be true-to-life in extreme cases, his increasingly obnoxious behavior toward the man he claims to love makes him a thoroughly unlikable protagonist. Stylistic lapses further weaken the story (``Sergio was talking too much, garrulously so''), and the dialogue, though occasionally charged with emotion, is more often forced and artificial. The lovers' exchanges, in particular, seldom ring true--while getting to know Dexter, Sergio poses a question that could make a seasoned interviewer cringe: ``As a writer, what do you want to say through your art?'' (June)
Reviewed on: 05/30/1994
Release date: 06/01/1994
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