cover image Farrell Covington and the Limits of Style

Farrell Covington and the Limits of Style

Paul Rudnick. Atria, $28.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-66800-467-8

An aspiring writer becomes enamored of a dashing fellow student at Yale in Rudnick’s dazzling and funny latest (after Playing the Palace). It’s 1973, and narrator Nate Reminger, who is Jewish, struggles to achieve his literary ambitions. He soon meets flamboyant and outspoken Farrell Covington, who was raised in a powerful Wasp family and “smells like beauty and money and youth.” Dazzled by Farrell’s sophistication and confidence, Nate quickly falls head over heels for Farrell. Despite their differences, they share affinities for gay culture and such celebrities as Bette Midler, and after sleeping together, they fall into a long-running relationship until Farrell’s father puts a stop to it. After college, Nate moves to New York City, where he hones his playwriting skills and basks in the post-Stonewall gay scene. As Rudnick moves the story into the ’80s, Nate’s successful playwriting career earn him screenwriting work in Hollywood, and, despite the disapproving Covingtons, the pair fight to make time for each other, a resource that suddenly becomes all too precious during the early days of the AIDS epidemic. The author proves himself to be in top form, and each page is loaded with quippy dialogue and winning character work. This is a roaring good time. (June)