"Christopher: A Tale of Seduction"
(reviewed by Josh Aterovis JUL 24, 2004)
“Marry him?” Protagonist B.K. Troop scoffs at his Greek waitress in Allison Burnett’s debut novel, Christopher, when she suggests he swallow a four-leaf clover in order to ensure he marry the object of his desire, his new neighbor and the title character of the book. “Good God! I only want to seduce him!” And that is precisely what B.K. sets out to do, despite the fact that Christopher is obviously heterosexual.
B.K. is a middle-aged, unemployed, bipolar, unattractive gay man. When Christopher, an aspiring novelist, moves in next door, B.K. immediately sets his sights on the lovely young man. Fresh from a failed attempt at marriage, Christopher seems ripe for the picking, but B.K. has a challenge before him—Christopher isn’t interested in being seduced. B.K. isn’t the type to back down from a challenge, and he goes after Christopher with religious zeal.
He tries everything in his power to worm his way into Christopher’s life, and he succeeds to some degree, but his goal of seducing the younger man is thwarted at every turn—often with hilarious results. The book chronicles a year in the lives of B.K. and Christopher, a year in which they both learn much about themselves. As seen through B.K.’s eyes, and related to us through his sharp, witty, and sometimes bitchy observations, Christopher develops a crush on a married waitress, delves into presidential politics, becomes involved in a New Age cult, and struggles to deal with his domineering and malevolent mother. Meanwhile, much to his horror, B.K.’s lust develops into something deeper, something he thought he would never feel—true love.
Christopher is a rare find—a clever, engaging book that can make you laugh out loud, but also pulls at your heart strings. Burnett, a screenwriter and film director living in Los Angeles, at times seems to be channeling the spirit of Oscar Wilde. His style is literary, but completely accessible. He has taken a character like B.K. Troop, who easily could have been extremely unlikable, and not only makes him sympathetic, but actually brings you to root for his happiness. I highly recommend this book.
Amazon readers rating: from 56 reviews
Read a chapter excerpt from Christopher at RandomHouse.com
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Bibliography: (with links to Amazon.com)
- Christopher: A Novel of Seduction (March 2003)
- The House Beautiful (August 2006)
- Undiscovered Gyrl (August 2009)
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- The official website for Allison Burnett
- Absolute Write interivew with Allison Burnett
- MediaBistro article by Allison Burnett on being stalked on Amazon.com
- MostlyFiction.com review of Undiscovered Gyrl
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About the Author:
Allison Burnett is a writer and film director living in Los Angeles. Christopher, his first novel, was selected as a finalist for the 2004 PEN Center USA Literary Award.