I Say a Little Prayer.
This author's typical layering of romance, taboo sexuality and (relatively) conservative Christian beliefs has been a financially successful formula for more than a decade. His latest effort, I Say a Little Prayer, doesn't deviate much from this formula (there's more sex), nor does it break new ground. It is, indeed, what we have come to expect from Harris--fun, frivolous fluff.
Fluff isn't a bad thing because, face it, Harris gives good soap opera. So on with the show. Here's a sampling of the drama present in Prayer. Picture it: Atlanta, a large metropolitan city with even larger churches. Picture the protagonist: a six-foot-one, 193-pound "mink-skinned" (just quoting E. Lynn, folks, I have no idea what that means) bisexual with gay leanings, nearing forty. He's brokenhearted and lonely.
I Say a Little Prayer opens with Chauncey Dion Greer, our patently pretentious protagonist, who is about to out a would-be elected U.S. senator on Larry King Live. Chauncey agreed to do the interview on the condition of anonymity; he is to be filmed in silhouette, his voice distorted. However, the show's executive producer feels these explosive allegations will have more kick if Chauncey reveals his identity.
Close-up on face and freeze; cue in the soap opera music. Chauncey's dilemma: What will he do? Who is this politician and what does he have to do with Chauncey? Mystery revealed in 39 short chapters.
Having reviewed Harris's work on a number of occasions (a superfluous exercise), this writer knows that author doesn't surprise so much as wink or show a little shoulder. Occasionally, he annoys. Harris's writing style often thumps along like a tired hooker; what's supposed to be sexy and intriguing ends up formulaic and predictable. In I Say a Little Prayer, all of his conventions are displayed: characters with three names; confused, vain bisexuals; down-low charlatans; flouncing sissies; ghetto sisters and all-forgiving mamas. Kick back and enjoy--or not.
--Reviewed by Steven G. Fullwood Steve G. Fullwood is a writer in Harlem, New York.
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Author:||Fullwood, Steven G.|
|Publication:||Black Issues Book Review|
|Article Type:||Book review|
|Date:||Jul 1, 2006|
|Next Article:||Fortunate Son.|