Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Testosterone

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Testosterone

Article excerpt

The newest pedal-to-the-metal novel by James Robert Parker is, sadly, his last

Testosterone * James Robert Baker * Alyson * $22.95

What's fun about a James Robert Baker book is that it demands you buckle up and hang on. Testosterone lives up to that reputation. The novel follows protagonist Dean Seagrave as he drives around Los Angeles, hurt and extremely angry, hunting down his ex-lover Pablo Ortega, who may have just tried to kill him. Baker sustains this long, seemingly rambling narrative--presented as transcripts of a series of tapes dictated by Dean--with clever construction and exposition planted at just the right points. Is Dean jealous, certifiable, overly tweaked, or in the grip of a cult's bloody hex? Arguably, all of the above--but to what degree?

Driving through Malibu, Hollywood, and cruising areas from Venice Beach tearooms to Griffith Park, Dean learns more than he wanted to know about his ex from Pablo's many victimized former lovers. Watching this increasingly creepy evidence seep into Dean's mind and do its work is the real rush.

There are a couple of annoying lapses in logic, such as after one particularly violent scene, when Dean goes into a Taco Bell. …

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