BREAKFAST AT NOON
Xlibris, Aug 1997
Reviewed by Joy Calderwood
Paul and Charles are gay pals Ė just buddies, thanks. They work together every summer for an outdoor theater group. Itís a busy bunch. The groupís star, Linda, loudly and profanely wants Paul. Charles wants Jim, or failing Jim, just about anybody else will do. Jim wants Carla, who conveniently wants Jim back. Jake wants center stage, anywhere and everywhere. Tomís wants are a deep dark secret, but they must be bad, because he is so moral.
Paul, our hero, wants Mike, a new young actor in the company, whose sexual proclivities are unclear. Paul has been plagued with writerís block for years, on the verge of earning his doctorate in literature. Charles decides that an affair with Mike is just the medicine Paul needs to revitalize his creative urges. Paul likes the idea, so much that daydreaming interferes with his job; and it seems Mike likes it, too. But Paul is convinced that love and lust cannot coexist in the same relationship, and he will choose love every time. Why doesnít taking the high road work?
BREAKFAST AT NOON is not a murder mystery, despite the mention of a murder on the cover. It is a psychological romance. The murder merely serves to heighten the tension this particular summer, just as stage performances, an actorís obsessed father, and the directorís strict rules do. The sharp-tongued Linda, talented actress and established friend, doesnít make life any easier. No matter what lubricious scenarios Charles is urging, Paul would like simply to discuss Shakespeareís sonnets late at night with the innocent, naÔve Mike. It seems the Fates have more complicated ends in mind. What Mikeís parents will say if their minor child returns from a summer workshop with a homosexual lover twice his age, is something the author is not willing to contemplate.
BREAKFAST AT NOON is a study of the relationship between spirit love and body love. Looking at the issue from a gay viewpoint gives it an angle that seems fresh in our day. Author Robert Witt, a teacher of literature, shows that this was a major interest of Shakespeare. In addition, Witt seems so familiar with the world of theater that he does not need to dwell on the details. In fact, he has had several of his own plays performed. He has adopted the advice to "write about what you know," and has made it work well for him. I read BREAKFAST AT NOON in just a few hours, late at night, when I had a cold, which proves its ability to hold a readerís attention.
Mar 2003 Review Originally Published on the Independent Reviews Site
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