A year after his lover Tony passed away, Lyle returns to the country house where he died, with a new boyfriend, Robert, in tow. The house belongs to Tony’s half brother John and his rather unstable wife Marian. It’s an uncomfortable weekend for everyone, especially outsider Robert.
“The Weekend” harks back to old school gay novels, where all the homos are tragic characters that can’t be happy. Of course, almost none of the characters in this story are happy. This is a rather moody piece, although not so depressing you’ll have trouble reading on. In fact, the writing is rather simplistic and very easy to read.
That simplistic writing is one of the big reasons the story fails to engage the reader. This is one of those books where the writing tells the story rather than show it unfolding. It makes, in this case, for a totally un-engaging read where we don’t really get to know any of the characters, and probably don’t want to. Robert is the only somewhat endearing player, whom you might want to get to know, but he is perhaps the least well drawn. He is nothing more than a catalyst who sets in motion the various reactions of the other characters, while remaining almost inert himself.
This is one of those books that seems to get talked about a bit, and was even made into a movie, but I have no idea why it’s popular. It may simply be that, with no experience of the east coast spend-summer-weekends-in-the-country lifestyle, the minimalist writing doesn’t give me enough to fire my imagination. This may be a story that will appeal more to those that have a different set of experiences.
“The Weekend” is available from Amazon.