Title: The Czar of Wilton Drive: A Novel of Self-Discovery, Betrayal and Deceit
Author: RP Andrews
Publisher: Kokoro Press
Pages/Word Count: 152 Pages
At a Glance: I can’t say I’d recommend this book. The lack of any kind of moral compass – for any of the characters – was just too much for me.
Reviewed By: Carrie
Blurb: The new boss is in…
In the course of minutes, twenty-one year old Jonathan Antonucci, barely out of the closet gay man from suburban New York, finds himself a multi-millionaire. His great uncle Charlie has unexpectedly died of a heart attack, leaving Jon the sole owner of several of the most successful bars in Wilton Manors, Ft. Lauderdale’s gay ghetto.
Flying down to Lauderdale to claim his bequest, Jon encounters Uncle Charlie’s dubious friends and business associates, and is immediately drawn into Lauderdale’s scene of unbridled sex and heavy drugs. He also discovers his great uncle’s memoirs which reveal truths not only about Jon’s own past but also what may have really happened to his uncle. In the end, Jon is torn between avenging Uncle Charlie’s death or loving the very man responsible for it.
Review: The Czar of Wilton Drive is a book within a book. The main character, Jon, inherits a fortune, a BMW, and two leather bars in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Jon is introduced as a twenty-one year old virgin of everything: of both life and love. When looking through his great uncles things, he discovers an online diary of the man’s life. This is where the story becomes a book within a book—we get to read the entire diary.
I have to say, this book was not a good one for me. It is billed as a mystery, but what it is, is a bald look at what the gay lifestyle was like in the 60, 70s, and 80s. If the author wanted to write a documentary on the lack of values and consciousness of the gay evolution, I feel it should have been billed as such. The drug use, unprotected sex at the height of the AIDS epidemic, and amoral choices of the main characters was hard to read.
We hope that Jon will read his uncle’s narcissistic life story, and make better choices with his life. Instead, he embraces the same drug use, unprotected sex, and poor choices. Heck, he even chooses to become the partner (in every way) of the drug lord who got his uncle hooked on the product that eventually killed him. Really! This is hard to read, as you want Jon to grow, mature, do something good with all that life has given to him…but he just doesn’t.
So, I can’t say I’d recommend this book. The lack of any kind of moral compass – for any of the characters – was just too much for me.
You can buy The Czar of Wilton Drive here: