cover image Love Hexagon 6-Copy Counter Display

Love Hexagon 6-Copy Counter Display

William Sutcliffe. Penguin Books, $72 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-14-771532-6

Think Friends with British accents, overt sex and true acrimony among the characters, and you'll have a pretty good feel for Sutcliffe's half-clever comedic follow-up to his Are You Experienced? Six 20-something Londoners share advice, dilemmas and insults, swap beds and generally make up the titular hexagon. Guy and Lisa have been a secure couple for five years. Lisa works in TV ""development research"" with Josh, who lusts after her and entertains her by telling whoppers about his sex life. Lisa's spoiled friend Keri chases men down for casual sex, then chases them away if they want real relationships. There's also Guy's friend Helen--depressed and depressing, but fascinating to him--and macho, womanizing Graham, who comes to understand Helen's appeal. As they discover their proper and improper partners, Sutcliffe's characters learn--as readers might expect--that we should seek mates who accept us for our depths, rather than trusting in surfaces. Zippy dialogue and one-after-another seduction scenes make the book snappy but often superficial. Much of it reads like a sitcom script--though Guy, Lisa and the rest are perhaps crueler and less sympathetic than American television would have them. Midway through, Graham and Keri chat about Graham's jokes. ""The whole thing is a bit hit and miss,"" he admits. Keri replies, ""It's worth it for the funny ones."" Sympathetic readers will feel the same way about this novel; others will wish Sutcliffe had demanded more from his undeniable comic talents. (Sept.)