Sunday, February 18, 2018

Book Review: 'One Nightstand' by Rick Bettencourt

Rick Bettencourt steped into an enlarging spotlight of fellow LGBT writers - a circle stage front that includes such names as David Sedaris, Edmund White, Felice Picano, Robert Rodi, Michael Cunningham, David Leavitt, Alan Hollinghurst, Colm Tóibín, et al - and came on very strong with his book TIM ON BROADWAY: SEASON ONE. Though there is much talk about this master of the social media and though he has enjoyed success with his earlier works PAINTING WITH WINE and the collection of stories in NOT SURE BOYS, this novella – ONE NIGHTSTAND proves he has mastered this medium also and places him solidly in the company of the specially gifted young writers of gay fiction.

In a brief 37 pages Rick establishes not only the palpably credible characters who star in this story, but he also wraps this Christmas tale in flavors of the season and the decidedly genuine approach/avoidance conflict that young gay men face in testing the waters of lust satisfaction versus commitment. Perhaps the story has been told elsewhere but not with the genuine satisfaction this little tale offers.

Rick’s synopsis is good without giving away spoilers: ‘Doug’s not good with one-night stands, yet in the early hours of Christmas Eve, he returns home with Kirk—a good-looking guy he met at the club. Nestled together in the kitchen of his New England cottage, sipping hot chocolate and watching the snow fall, Doug wishes there could be more to this casual encounter. It’s a feeling that stays with him as he heads off to a frantic day of work at the mall, swamped with last-minute holiday shoppers…the last place he expects to find something magical.’

Rick is now established as the genuine article and we welcome him and his sophisticated prose with very open arms. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, December 15

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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