Sunday, September 23, 2007

Looker-Stanley Bennett Clay

Stanley Bennett Clay
Atria, Jun 2007, $13.00
ISBN: 9780743291026

Although their backgrounds are miles apart, Brando Haywood and Omar Stevens became best friends while attending Hamilton High School in the early 1980s. Their friendship was solidified on the day they graduated when Brando was there for a grieving weeping Omar whose beloved Grammy died in an accident as she was coming to see him get his diploma.

Two decades later they remain best friends although their lifestyles like their upbringing are miles apart. Entertainment attorney Brando, raised by loving caring parents, wants passion in his relationship; he has not found that since his last lover left him two years ago. He remains celibate. Showbiz journalist and writer Omar, before Grammy took him was raised by an abusive single mother who was a rape victim, relishes various partners; he is promiscuous. Now Brando’s friend Jeanette pleads with him to defend her on a murder charge in which she is accused of killing her rapist. Brando reluctantly agrees as criminal law is not his expertise, but leaves L.A. for SF anyway. The case reignites Brando’s passion for his professional life and soon overflows into his personal life as he claims love by accepting who he really is inside and stops looking for an image in all the wrong places.

LOOKER is a challenging well written tale that profoundly explores various relationships in the twenty-first century by deeply delving into how the two best buddies perceive love. The story line is character driven as the audience will know what Brando wants and who Omar loves. Although the final spin seems obvious as the climax fits the plot, fans of deep relationship dramas will relish Stanley Bennett Clay’s strong tale of love while also IN SEARCH OF PRETTY YOUNG BLACK MEN as the author has led the way with his upper middle class African-American male stories seeking much more beyond the material that they already possess.

Harriet Klausner

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