Book Reviews of The Dreyfus Affair: A Love Story

The Dreyfus Affair: A Love Story
The Dreyfus Affair A Love Story
Author: Peter Lefcourt
ISBN-13: 9780060975593
ISBN-10: 0060975598
Publication Date: 4/14/1993
Pages: 304
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.

3.9 stars, based on 18 ratings
Publisher: Perennial
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

4 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Dreyfus Affair: A Love Story on + 134 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Fun, quick read about a baseball shortstop who falls in love with his second baseman. The language in the book is really fun if you are a fan of the sport as it is rife with baseball language references, and historical similarities to the political scandal of the same name make for an interesting premise.
reviewed The Dreyfus Affair: A Love Story on + 11 more book reviews
Light, fun oops-I'm-really-gay! story with -- amazingly -- a happy ending for the men involved. Not exceedingly deep prose or plot, so if you're looking for anything remotely realistic in other than window-dressing ways, look elsewhere.
reviewed The Dreyfus Affair: A Love Story on + 7 more book reviews
The Book Report: The eponymous Dreyfus, baseball star Randy, is an All-American Guy with a wife and two daughters. We meet him with that family as he opens a strip mall named for him near his suburban California home. Randy is a man with a problem, however: He's coming to know, at age 28, that he is really a gay man living a straight man's dream life. He's fallen in love with D.J. Pickett, second baseman to his pitcher (the joke here will become obvious in the review), despite the existence of a perfect wife, blonde and beautiful and hot for him. Not only is D.J. a man, he's a BLACK man! The scandal, the shock, the general all-around kerfuffle that ensues when the two men are caught in a clearly sexual situation! But true to Mr. Lefcourt's Hollywood writing pedigree, there is A Happy Ending. No, not *that* kind of happy ending, get your mind out of the gutter! This isn't a romance novel, it's A Love Story. Even the subtitle says so.

My Review: I'd love to live in the America of the ending of this book. In fact, what with some more adventurous sports stars like Ben Cohen starting to come out as against bullying and homophobia as cultural forces, it might *be* this world soon. Why, he's even started a foundation to combat these pernicious, ancient evils! Good on him, and his wife, and his two kids! But he was released from his international rugby-playing job after he started talking about these matters, despite being the MVP for his team. Plus he's over 30, which in rugby as in football means headin' for the barn. Still, bravo for doing it. Now, the reaction to this in the rugby-playing world has been muted because of his superstar status, but I note a singular quietude among teams in his former league.

Pro sports is not gonna welcome or acknowledge gay players if they're not even gonna let a gay-FRIENDLY guy work to change his childrens' world while working for them. So I find the Hollywood ending of the book, with the two men walking onto the field together to play a World Series game, poignantly amusing if improbable to the point of alternate-Universe-ness.

But the trip to get there is, well, amusing and improbable: the soon-to-be-ex-wife is all sympathy and understanding, a thing no woman of my acquaintance is when she's being left for someone else, and I mean *not*one*of*them* who've had it happen, the two daughters not being shown to be bullied mercilessly for having a fag-daddy (ha!), and the Salty Old Sports Columnist coming out (oops) in their favor...! Oh the glories of Lefcourt's imagination! Let this world come into being, and soon, if you please o kind and beneficent God! (Another improbable-to-the-point-of-humor concept.)

And then there are the odd choices, like making D.J. a black man who's the bottom and Randy a white top who plays *pitcher*! Top and bottom (pitcher and catcher, get it?), for the straight, are the sexual positions of the parties. They are also the source of stress and tension in the gay mating market, because logically two men having sex can't BOTH do the same thing at the same time, and a great big stigma attaches to the bottom (I hope I don't need to explain the source of these names...that would be too depressing...although Randy, our hero with the porn name {srsly, RANDY?!}, is specifically revealed to be clueless about how to satisfy his lust for D.J. until a specific moment quite late in his 28 years of life!), as it does to the effiminate man. In other words, homophobia among the homos is alive and well. And Lefcourt chose an ethnic minority for his secondary character that has historically been completely, utterly, and often violently unsupportive of gay life. I have to wonder why he did that. Oh, but never fear: We're not given any actual sex to wince over, straight people. It's all implied. Honest and truly.

And baseball is, I mourn to report, an ever-more-marginal sport. In Murrika today, the uber-violent and pointless and boring football (which involves feet only tangentially, so far as I can see) is the dominant sport. Why pick on poor, fading baseball? Although the venality, the coarseness, and the criminality of the management are played against that sport's backdrop, I feel very sure that the same behaviors, attitudes, and law-breakings would happen in any of the professional sports. They're handling a LOT of money here. No way in hell does that not attract, if not breed, criminality. It simply can't help but do so.

So why'd I read it? And why would I recommend it? Because it's upbeat and it's nicely plotted and it's got its moments of trenchant commentary. Everybody needs a fairy tale every now and then. In baseball season, let this be yours.
reviewed The Dreyfus Affair: A Love Story on + 95 more book reviews
This seriocomic second novel by the author of The Deal tells the offbeat story of baseball star Randy Dreyfus, whose life--on the surface, at least--seems a winning streak that will never end. His manager tells him, "You're 28 years old. You got the best swing since Ted Williams. You're the fastest white guy in the league. You've got a nice wife, a family, you're pulling down two point three a year, not to mention the TV and merchandising money." However, Dreyfus has one big problem--he has fallen in love with D. J., the team's second baseman--as well as a few smaller ones: his wife thinks he's sleeping with another woman, his shrink is driving him crazy and he wants to kill his unruly Dalmatian. When Dreyfus and D. J. are caught in the act under most bizarre circumstances, the political and professional fallout affects the World Series and the White House alike. Lefcourt employs a smoothly smart-alecky tone reminiscent of Dan Jenkins's football fiction, albeit without Jenkins's expert handling of the locker-room milieu. The tone grates after a while, but the novel is not without moments of genuine wit. Although the finale is more whimper than bang, the book's zany charm has a cumulative impact