cover image Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves

Victor McGlothin. St. Martin's Press, $24.95 (352pp) ISBN 978-0-312-28676-7

Autumn Leaves is a dull, cluttered drama from first-time novelist Victor McGlothin. Marshall and Rorey are the stars of their college football team until Rorey, who has just admitted he has AIDS, kills himself. Marshall is still a hot property, but his success begins to interfere with his relationship with longtime girlfriend Jasmine. Meanwhile, Kennedy is miserable with arrogant, philandering coke dealer Simpson, but she sticks around out of habit until she is tempted by sensitive artist Legacy. Melodramatic 11th-hour plot twists (a baby, a murder, an AIDS death) only serve as reminders that nothing of interest has happened all along. The cliche-riddled prose is clumsy and condescending; stereotypes abound, especially Kennedy's mincing co-worker, Morris. McGlothin opines that ""love is like a bad perm, you can spread it on thick and it still won't take"" the same could be said about weak writing. Agent, Elaine Koster. 3-city author tour.