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The Unfinished

By (author) Jay B. Laws
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Alyson Publications Inc, Boston, United States
Published: 12th Aug 1993
Dimensions: w 141mm h 220mm d 23mm
Weight: 381g
ISBN-10: 1555832172
ISBN-13: 9781555832179
Barcode No: 9781555832179

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Kirkus US
AIDS horror fantasy by Laws, who died at 34, of an AIDS-related illness, a week after completing final changes on the manuscript. Laws ties together three stories here. The main one, the bulk of the book, has a knockout premise that he follows through neatly as part of the horror genre. But it's a premise that could have gone in a stronger direction, that of straight drama rather than melodrama, to greater effect. In San Francisco, Jimmy Jiggers, called "Jiggs," inherits money from his late parents' insurance and moves with his deaf lover Luke to a cozy cottage at Lands End. Then a beautiful white Cadillac limousine from the house across the street hits Luke, who is hospitalized. While he's alone in the cottage, Jiggs is shocked by strange events, especially a grisly corpse that rises from a grave and tells him the novel's main story - a story that begins with Sam, a gay garage mechanic hired to fix the white limo, who is seduced by the limo's chauffeur, Joe. When Sam and Joe are interrupted by Joe's employer, Sam gets killed and his astral body floats above the other two men, then gets absorbed into the haunted limo. Next comes the story of Brent, who has "the Look." Overbundled, he still looks grotesquely thin, which is the wrong look. But he meets a Mephistophelean figure, a lover who once had AIDS but now radiates health. "I'd kill to have my looks back!" Brent cries, and, lo, a man sells him the same drink that resurrected his old lover and brings on the right Look: superhealth. But Brent must do dirty deeds for more of the drink, whose formula involved the blood of innocent children. Innocence is the drink. Slowly, the tale veers into conventional melodrama, not into Faust or Death in Venice. Given the genre, a good read - and the themes based on gay love and AIDS add an undercurrent of real feeling. (Kirkus Reviews)