At three in the morning, in a gay club somewhere in London's Bermondsey, Adam Killigrew comes face to face with Nemesis - wreathed in an unknown boy's devastating grin. Maybe it's just a question of smiling back? But life offers more complications for Adam, and for his lodger Theo, the black actor busy reinventing himself as an expensive luxury for mysterious Guy from Bayswater. Others are caught in the web: blue-blooded Daisy, muse and fixer, who needs to stay in control; Serena, her sister, and country wife to the perfect Jeremy; Frankie, the dancing divo with whom Adam falls in love; and sibylline Alice, the third sister, who knows all their secrets and one or two more.
This is a comedy of jaded city lives, of sex and secrets, of the urge to end the game. To dodge the Millennium and flee to the country. But can this smiling crew make their escape? With his unerring satirist's eye, softened by a wry indulgence towards human weakness. Jonathan Keates mixes the irony and compassion in a stylish, poignant and entertaining novel of post-Cool Britannia.
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At 3.00 in the morning in a gay club somewhere in London, Adam Killigrew comes face to face with Nemesis, wreathed in an unknown boy's devastating grin. Maybe it's just a question of smiling back? But life offers more complications for Adam.Review:
Adam Killigrew is 35, gay, and doles out money from Ethel Chauncey Wooldridge Foundation, "to Just Seventeen Samantha from Raynes Park who wants to be Darcey Bussell". He lives in Clapham with lodger Theo, a black actor, who is having a strictly circumscribed never-outside-the-bedroom affair with rich, urbane Guy. Adam's friend Daisy queers the pitch by introducing her new lodger, "the celebrated divo of dance" Frankie, who quickly becomes the new object of Adam's affections, while Daisy's sisters Serena and Alice provide differing takes on that bizarre existence that some people insist on perpetuating outside London.
In his second novel, Jonathan Keates penetrates the kind of educated, middle-middle-class circles familiar from Patrick Gale's work, although a closer parallel would be Alan Hollinghurst's The Spell, with its contrasted urban gay and village lives (and sure enough it gets a name check in chapter 2). The danger with this sort of novel is that the leading characters are, by their very nature, perfectly awful--the kind of bitter, not-quite-successful, over-educated, over-articulate, over-confident wine-bores and opera-snobs you pray you won't end up next to at a dinner party. But Keates lightens the burden with his witty evocation of the games gay men play in saunas, backrooms and on the streets, perfectly capturing the bittersweet lost moments of contact that could have been the one. Smile Please is at heart a thoughtful analysis of the unspoken--and unspeakable?--mismatch between sex, love and domesticity in contemporary queer London: it deserves to be read. --Alan Stewart
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Book Description Vintage, 2001. Book Condition: Good. New Ed. N/A. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP82987804
Book Description Vintage, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Very Good condition with no significant faults. Clearly used but very few minor defects. Will look good on your book case after reading but may not be suitable as a present unless hard to find elsewhere SECURE DAILY POSTING FROM UK. 30 DAY GUARANTEE. Bookseller Inventory # mon0002154684
Book Description Vintage, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Smile Please This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See all our books here, order more than 1 book and get discounted shipping. . Bookseller Inventory # 7719-9780099285168
Book Description Vintage, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Sent within 24 hours. Expedited UK delivery available. Bookseller Inventory # BBI2149709
Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: 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. Bookseller Inventory # GOR002626550
Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: 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. Bookseller Inventory # FPS0099285169VG
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