Guy Novel

Michael Ryan

Foreword Reviews - - Reviews - GARY PRES­LEY

Per­ma­nent Press Hard­cover $29 (259pp) 978-1-57962-440-8

The ad­ven­ture in this pas­sion­ate love story, set off with wry hu­mor, is cer­tain to ap­peal to the James Bond spy thriller au­di­ence.

Michael Ryan’s Guy Novel is a love story that a guy’s guy can buy into, in which the girl at the

cen­ter shang­hais the boy who’s af­ter her into un­der­tak­ing a covert Turk­menistan op with duf­fel bags of dol­lars in hand, all for an Afghani guy will­ing to kill bin Laden.

It is the sum­mer of 1996, and Robert Wilder is work­ing as a stand-up com­edy jour­ney­man. He is en­gaged to Doris, a Hol­ly­wood mover and shaker who has the juice to keep him in Tin­sel­town’s top tal­ent agent’s sta­ble. But then hap­pily-ever-af­ter goes awry. Robert makes a pre-wed­ding stop at a bank to get hon­ey­moon cash and en­coun­ters Sabine, with––colpo di ful­mine! — a “lower lip like the thresh­old of heaven.” In­stead of headed down the aisle, Robert finds him­self in Sabine’s bed, and aban­doned in Baja by morn­ing.

With that, Robert is down de­cep­tion’s rab­bit hole and into a pas­sion­ate, world-up­side-down love af­fair, all played out in a whirl­wind nar­ra­tive filled with witty repar­tee— part screw­ball com­edy, and part take­downs of left-coast pre­ten­tious­ness and hubris-pow­ered in­ter­na­tional in­trigue.

There is an in­trigu­ing and ap­peal­ing role re­ver­sal here, with the man in the bud­ding ro­mance painted as a stew of angst and in­se­cu­ri­ties, while the girl in the pic­ture is the gun­slinger, and is con­structed of harder, darker ma­te­rial. She does dan­ger­ous un­der­cover work for an at­tor­ney with big-time in­flu­ence, a char­ac­ter pulled from the head­lines, which adds plau­si­bil­ity to keep the pages turn­ing.

The boy-meets-girl, boy-chases-re­luc­tant-girl love story flies from Santa Mon­ica to Wash­ing­ton, DC, where good ol’ boy Bill Clin­ton is en­coun­tered in an un­der­ground bunker. Then it’s pri­vate jets and gourmet meals to Turk­menistan and Paris. The glam­orous back­ground and fast ro­mance risks clichés, but it’s all brought down to­ward real-life ex­pe­ri­ence with much solidly writ­ten “will she, won’t she” back-and-forth about doubts, neu­roses, and the mean­ing of loy­alty.

Michael Ryan’s Guy Novel of­fers ad­ven­ture and a pas­sion­ate love story, set off with wry hu­mor that is cer­tain to ap­peal to the James Bond spy thriller au­di­ence.

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