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The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made
Greg Sestero, Tom Bissell
Progress: 27/268 pages
Pompeii
Robert Harris
Awakening of the Heart: Essential Buddhist Sutras and Commentaries
Thich Nhat Hanh

Family Man

Family Man -  Marie Sexton, Heidi Cullinan The characters are likable and the story is okay, but overall I found this book to be fairly boring and generic. It just did not do it for me. If you expand this review there are probably spoilers.

Vince is a member of a sprawling Italian-American clan with three divorces under his belt. While on a call to unplug a drain (he works as a plumber. That's right, he's an Italian plumber--good thing he wasn't named Mario, heh) he encounters a gay couple who are loving and supportive despite going through financial hardship and realizes that's exactly what he's been looking for. A loving, stable relationship with a MAN. Trouble is, how will his family react to his sudden realization that he's gay?

Trey is from a very small family, it's just him, his Grams, and his alcoholic mother now, and they are struggling to survive. He works two jobs to support his family and goes to college full time. He is also saving his virginity for The One. Vince and Trey know each other--Trey's a regular at the family's restaurant and his grandmother used to date Vince's grandfather back in the day. Meeting Trey at a gay club, however, was a bit of a shock. A good shock, and after a night of dancing and No Sex they hit it off and realize that they were made for each other.

I had to force myself to keep reading through the first third of the book. It wasn't bad, it just didn't feel outstanding. For about the first quarter to a third there really wasn't much tension to keep me going, Vince's conflict about his sexuality is pretty old-hat for me at this point and I was afraid that his sister would fall into the Best Girl Friend stereotype and take over the story (fortunately that doesn't happen). The stakes just didn't seem high enough at first--Vince is afraid of what his family will think but we don't see why until fairly late into the story. Trey seems to be sort of pre-approved by the family, even if they didn't know what they were pre-approving him for. They like him and talk fondly of both him and his grandmother. Even "Confirmed Bachelor" Cousin Hank, the only other out gay man in the family, isn't that well fleshed out--it would have been really great if Vince had actually had a conversation with Hank and found out what coming out in the family was like and heightened the tension especially since he apparently had a negative experience, but we the reader only see him at a distance.

It isn't until Trey's mom's alcoholism and DMX addiction goes into overdrive do we get some real stakes in this book. Will Mindy die? How will Trey handle all this, especially his tremendous anger toward his mother for her chronic alcoholism? They need help, obviously, but where will they get the help? Vince is really sweet here, I admit, pulling up his big boy panties and coming out to his mother so he can ask for help for Trey's family and not being forced to pretend to be "just friends". It goes really well. Too well.

The whole book had been building up toward some sort of conflict between Vince and his family over his sexuality--and then we don't get that. The nasty aunts who make remarks are quickly shushed, Vince's mom and grandfather are 100% supportive, and most of the rest of the family quickly falls into line. All of Vince's fears about how they'd react don't materialize, and we're told that Hank's almost-ostracization is due to him getting caught with male hookers. If only Hank had dated nice boys like Trey everything would have been a-okay. Everyone is happy with Vince and Trey and that's it, the end. In other words, no consequences.

So, not bad. Not offensive in any way, and I liked Trey and Vince, but the story was kinda boring.