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McCauley's latest blunt and funny novel lays bare the inner life and obsessive-compulsive behavior of William Collins, a gay 40-something Boston realtor who struggles to give up trolling the Internet for impersonal sexual liaisons. Taking stock of the year following 9/11, William attributes his promiscuity to "posttraumatic self-indulgence" and unsuccessfully attempts to trade one addiction for another: cleaning house (not always his own). When affluent straight couple Charlotte O'Malley and Samuel Thompson arrive at his office, prowling for a new home, William hopes he can close the sale and wonders if he can look to their marriage as inspiration for a long-term relationship. While McCauley entertains with a motley group of supporting characters, the novel pivots on William's close friendship with Edward, a flight attendant. Hoping to preserve their relationship by keeping it romance-free, William tries to deny his feelings for the ever-patient Edward. McCauley (True Enough) delivers the promise of emotional progress for his flawed, charming protagonist in this clever take on the desire for love, sex and real estate. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
McCauley's first book, The Object of My Affection0 (1987), was a landmark hit--a gay-themed comedy that crossed over to a mainstream audience--and the author's readership has only grown more affectionate over time. McCauley's engaging fifth novel recalls the odd, impulsive behaviors that overtook Americans in the year following September 11, 2001. The narrator, William Collins, is witty, insightful, and candid about his own compulsions: obsessive cleaning and anonymous sexual encounters. As a real-estate broker in Boston, William has a unique vantage for observing other types of postattack neuroses, working with clients who are reinventing themselves, questioning relationships, and packing their bags. One of McCauley's hallmarks is his ability to sum up characters with devastating zingers: for instance, "Like most people who are obsessed with fitness and advertise their superior health and physical condition, Marty Gordon lived in intense, unrelenting pain." His dialogue is distinguished by comic, low-grade hostilities exchanged between friends, families, and neighbors--and these safeguards have never been as funny and relevant, or seemed so necessary, as in recent years, with threats perceived from every direction. McCauley gets it exactly right. --James Klise Copyright 2006 Booklist