Subsurdity by Eric Arvin
Jasper Lane is a well-off neighborhood, not much different in appearance than most, with a tree-lined drive, manicured lawns, and crystal clear ponds. But underneath the pleasantry, a completely different world lurks.
Cassie Bloom, the grand dame of Jasper Lane, has a missing son and husband and throws gay porn parties that are the social events of the year. Her best friend, a transsexual named Vera, owns a nightclub. Melinda Gold is the resident religious fanatic whose views clash with that of her son Patrick. Sandy and Steve Jones are the stereotypical all-American couple (except Steve acts in gay-for-pay porn unbeknownst to his pregnant wife).
Rick Cooper just moved in, and despite his qualms about another relationship (having literally lost an eye in the previous one), he falls for ex-soldier, James. And David and Cliff are the most “normal” couple on the block … never mind that David helped Cassie with some past nefarious deed and that Cliff is the biggest gay porn star in the biz. Throw a dog named Gayhound and a dead body into the mix, and Jasper Lane may just be the gayest neighborhood in town!
[Originally reviewed for Rainbow Reviews HERE!]
On the inside cover of this book are several quotes from reviews. Most often these are ignored or skipped over but one caught my attention right off “… a gay Desperate Housewives.” I immediately wondered what I had gotten myself into with this book and I came to find out that quote is completely apt. This hilarious spoof depicts a seemingly peaceful, quaint neighborhood that beneath the surface is teaming with drama and gossip. The story shifts from person to person as the everyday angst of life is played out over the top and outrageously amongst a beautiful summer backdrop. The hilarious antics of the various residents will have you wishing you lived among their crazy drama.
The story is told from numerous points of view from the different neighborhood residents. The action follows the residents over the course of one summer as they drink, party, find love, lose love, uncover secrets, get married, start porn careers, end porn careers, and engage in enough delightful drama to keep readers laughing. The large cast is filled with heterosexual couples, gay couples, widows, young men, older women, fag hags, and transsexuals. There is something for everyone on Jasper Lane. From Rick’s missing one eye to Terrance’s unfortunate tongue ring, their antics are priceless entertainment ~ setting up the perfect material for a soon to be sequel.
The writing is crisp and sharp with a flair for comic timing and witty dialogue. The characters are often ridiculous, but in such a way to engage the reader to laugh along with their ludicrous antics. The constant shifting point of view is both a benefit and a detriment to the story. Often the musing shifts mid-scene, so fast the head hoping is somewhat jarring. This also leaves the characters very superficial without much depth to their personalities. However, this style keeps the action moving swiftly and the dialogue snappy. The various points of view allow the reader to view the Jasper Lane residents and actions from all angles and delight in their absurdity. Most stereotypes are included and exaggerated from the fag hags to the ultra religious housewife, even the gay-for-pay porn star.
The story has too many laugh out loud moments to count, parodying itself and the insanity of suburbs with a deft mastery. The various storylines mix and mingle with each other, bringing continuity to the fun and entertaining stories. The witty and sharp dialogue brings the large cast into focus, never allowing any to be overwhelmed or forgotten in the group. Although there is no explicit sex, the story has an undercurrent of sexuality ~ partly due to the hot summer temperatures and tendency of male residents to wear very little. The story starts on a high, hilariously funny note and never makes a misstep, even up to the very last page.
I thought about including a few quotes but there were too many wonderful scenes and fabulous lines of dialogue to choose from. The superhero fetish scene is perhaps one of the best so you won’t want to miss this delightful romp through “perfect” suburbia. With a sequel promised soon, be sure to acquaint yourself with the quirky and zany residents of Jasper Lane now. Be cautious of the liquids you drink while reading and enjoy this completely wonderful comic treat.
Get it HERE!