Two more reviews of Cyclizen:
Many passages stand out and could stand alone as short stories in their own right: awkward attempts at being friends with an ex-boyfriend, a sad interlude with a friend/fuck buddy, fictional HIV-poz porn star Jake Stallion, plus numerous one-night-stands with guys Kent hopes will be 'the one.' Is there a gay reader who wouldn't see parts of himself in Kent's stories?
One scene particularly resonates in the light of all the AIDS deaths we endured. Kent tries to explain to his parents why he's so unaffected by the death of his 81-year-old aunt. He tells Mom and Dad of all the memorials he's attended. He tries to explain to them what it's like seeing someone die before they're 30, weighing less than 100 lbs. But Mom and Dad either don't get it, or don't want to hear it. This sequence is beautifully, poetically written.
Cyclizen is unforgettable. Kent's look back on his younger days almost feels like a ghost story. The years covered in the book are a period that will indeed haunt us forever. - David Nahmod, Bay Area Reporter
And, nothing like having a nice review opposite a page of a huge erection! Rather appropriate, considering the content of my book:
Like Jim Provenzano's two earlier novels (PINS, about homophobia in amateur sports, and Monkey Suits, about working class gay activism), Cyclizen is about as far as you can get from the many safe and sanitary gay novels being cranked out nowadays.
The narrator, Kent, is a different kind of road warrior, working as a hip and hot bike messenger on New York's class-society terrain. An understandably burned-out AIDS activist, but still an idealist, his internal battle is with his past and present and with the men in his life.
Attractions and, ironically, activism get him involved with a Wall Street trader, but deeper friendships help him keep his balance. Like the wheels of a street-smart messenger's bike, the prose is fast, busy and sometimes jarring. Kent's real subject matter is not his own but our culture, relationships and our challenging times. - Mandate magazine