Light Before Day

Before I come down too hard on this book, I have to admit that I have read the first two novels written by Christopher Rice, and I didn't love them either, but I still am reading everything of his that comes out.

Rice, the son of Ann Rice, wrote this third novel and this time has grown up a bit. The characters are older and more mature, and it is a whole new gay world he writes about. It is a murder mystery set in West Hollywood (and other more rural parts of California).

I won't get into the crazy convoluted plot too much (it gets complicated) but it deals with meth, gay men, huslters, child pornography, and lots of other stuff that is the "underbelly" of gay culture.

And just like his first two books, the writing is a bit obvious and over the top. Rice is not going to be winning the pulitizer any time soon, but it is a good guilty pleasure. I am embarassed for him at times, but then again, I know I couldn't produce much better if I tried to write a novel. I keep hoping for each book to get bettter, but they don't and you can be sure you will see me buying his next novel again.

Grade: C+

This is Christopher - maybe he gets a B, just for being cute.



Blogger Michael said...

I bought this book right when it came out but still haven't gotten around to reading it (I tend to buy books faster than I can get through them). I have read all of Christopher Rice's books as well, and generally have enjoyed them. The major point I will agree with you on is that he does allow the plots to get a little too convoluted without justifying that with a pleasing resolution. He is a good story-teller, so I would like to see him write something less dense but still surprising. Of course, that is more difficult to accomplish, but perhaps as he continues to mature as an author he will be able to do so.

On the other hand, I have to say that I loved A Density of Souls! It has been a number of years since I read the book, and yet I still remember vividly the power of that poem that is central to the story:

Fear cannot touch me...
It can only taunt me,
it cannot take me,
just tell me
where to go...

I can either follow,
or stay in my bed...

I can hold on to the
things that I know...

The dead stay dead,
they cannot walk.
The shadows are darkness,
And darkness can't talk.

Powerful story, I would love to see him produce more of that caliber!

1:32 AM, May 16, 2006  

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