City Of Night Author:John Rechy This is a novel about America. It is a novel about loneliness, about love and the ceaseless, furtive search for love. Set in the seamy, neon-lighted world of honky-tonk USA--Times Square in New York, Pershing Square in Los Angeles, Hollywood Boulevard, and the French Quarter of New Orleans--and dealing with a little-known world of hidden sex, Ci... more »ty of Night represents a radical departure from all other novels of this kind. It is not lurid or defensive; it treats its subject squarely and forthrightly, revealing many facets of this subculture in a way they had never been revealed before when the novel was published in 1963, even in the novels of Jean Genet.
It is a journey by a nameless narrator, through this clandestine world of furtive love. His journey takes him through the major cities of the United States, and through the lives of an extraordinary collection of characters who dwell either in this world or on its fringes: Pete, the "youngman"--or male hustler--at 42nd Street, who like the other youngmen goes with men for money but with women to prove his masculinity intact; the bedridden Professor, author of many books, for whom the only book that matters is the scrapbook of the Angels he has collected through the years in many countries; Miss Destiny, the queen of them all, with his-her endless succession of faithless husbands; Sergeant Morgan, the terror of Pershing Square, the cop who cracks down hard on the gay scene but has tried more than once to make it with those he arrests; "Mom" the New Yorker whose fetish is cooking for the male hustlers he takes home and undresses; Skipper, A Very Beautiful Boy, once beloved of one of Hollywood's top directors, who now carries his yellowed pictures and clippings in an often-renewed envelope; Lance O'Hara, not long ago the most sought-after star in the Hollywood heaven, now openly pursuing a youngman a decade or two his junior, and groveling to get him; Neil and his world of masquerade.
Rechy describes this world with brutal candor, with an understanding but without sentimentality or self-pity, in a prose that is highly personal, vivid and boldly descriptive.« less