Dean Seagrave was having an extraordinary day. All his belongings just went up in smoke, and he's tooling around Los Angeles in a rental car with a handheld tape recorder. The police are on his trail for assaulting an old woman outside a grocery store, or so he was just told by the man in a wheelchair he attacked at Venice Beach. "He's an ...
Dean Seagrave was having an extraordinary day. All his belongings just went up in smoke, and he's tooling around Los Angeles in a rental car with a handheld tape recorder. The police are on his trail for assaulting an old woman outside a grocery store, or so he was just told by the man in a wheelchair he attacked at Venice Beach. "He's an emotional serial killer," he says, explaining his frenzied quest for Pablo Ortega, his lover, who disappeared one night going out for cigarettes. But what bothers Dean more is Pablo's connection to a cult, all the disappearing animals, and the story about torture in Chile. Problem is, Dean might be crazy. Or everyone might be lying. But now Dean has a machete (because the chainsaw made too much noise), and he just found Pablo. James Robert Baker is the author of four other novels: Tim & Pete, Boy Wonder, Fuel Injected Dreams, and Right Wing (published on the Internet). His sixth novel, "Testosterone," will be published by Alyson in October 2000. On November 5, 1997, he committed suicide.
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Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Glued binding. Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 200 p.
Testosterone burns with a frantic energy that is difficult to explain. Told through a series of audio tapes instead of chapters, the story burns rubber from page one and skids to a frightening, abrupt stop at the end. The narrative, as told through the voice of Dean Seagrave as he drives through LA in search of Pablo Ortega, has a stream of consciousness feel as if I was reading a lunatic's rant, and I possibly may have. It's remains a bit unclear by the close of the novel. At first I started off sympathizing with Dean, I mean who hasn't been uncremoniously dumped? Then as event by disturbing event unfolds I began to question Dean's motives. Does he really have to kill Pablo? Is Pablo really involved in palo mayombe? Does Dean have to take such drastic actions to get answers? By the end I was unsure if should hate Dean, feel sorry for him or if everything that he told me was just an overactive fever dream of a drugged up obsessive mind. That's what makes this such a brilliant novel. I couldn't put it down.
The narrative as told through audio tapes may come across to some as a gimmick that wears thin and is difficult to follow. I found it compelling, as if Dean was telling me the story through his tapes. Every time he stops the tape and then continues his narrative minutes or sometimes hours after he left off, there was this edge of your seat sense of anticipation that I felt. I think expecting anything more than pure entertainment from Testosterone, like some underlying message about homosexuality or obsession or something like that, is a huge mistake. This is pure entertainment.
Definitely one of the bleakest of Baker's novels, possibly influenced by Baker's state of mind when he wrote this but it 's also one of his best as well.
A caveat: steer clear from the awful movie version of this book. Outside of using the same character names it bears no resemblance to the novel.
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