cover image I Think She's Trying to Tell Me Something

I Think She's Trying to Tell Me Something

Dan Graziano, . . Avon, $12.95 (275pp) ISBN 978-0-06-077875-0

This fumbling first novel proposes to enlighten the reader with the guy's take on modern romance. Baseball writer Jack Byrnes has fallen in love many times, amassing a bevy of "relationship ghosts" who strike on the cusp of his 30th birthday with a barrage of eerie sightings and chance encounters. From his first kiss—now a happy lesbian—to his live-in ex, to the college flame who skewers him in her bestselling novel, Jack's unwieldy romantic past crowds his life like a kudzu vine, threatening to siphon his energy from two new girls he's met cute in Manhattan. He starts to wonder if fate hasn't orchestrated this mess to teach him some profound love lesson. His colorful snippets about covering the Yankees hint at a better future novel, but the rest of the book reads like one rambling road map of both Manhattan and his mind, marked with booze-fueled rap sessions with his buddies. Graziano aims for the studied cool and quirky charm of Hornby's High Fidelity , but he's thwarted by an anticlimactic plot that feels as random as Jack's run-ins. Agent, Bob Mecoy. (Nov.)