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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 25, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 52
Truth be told
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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Truth be told

by Eric Andrews-Katz - SGN A&E Writer

Jameson Currier's based on a true story is a compelling new novel that retells an actual horrific crime that never should have happened. Told in the narrative first-person, the book explores how a quartet of Gay men interact with each other over a Thanksgiving dinner when various connections to a murder are revealed. Going beyond the actual crime itself, the book explores the relationships we have (both currently and in our pasts) with each other, our significant others, and ourselves.

Tom left his Southern roots long ago for the much less restrictive Manhattan collegiate lifestyle. It is there that he comes out and establishes an eclectic line of friends and lovers, including two men named Neal (a friend) and Scott (a lover who quickly became a close friend). Years after college, Tom publishes a book of eulogies for the many friends who have died of AIDS, and after feeling oppressed from their loss and the struggle to write anything else, decides to move to Asheville, North Carolina where he eventually meets Harley. Harley is a blue collar, slightly older, burly man who works for a tow company. After a year and a half of dating Harley moves into Tom's A-frame cabin where they are about to host Thanksgiving dinner for Scott and his new partner, Aiden.

Both Scott and Aiden were Southern raised but moved out to Los Angeles for different reasons. Scott wanted to leave New York and start anew and Aiden to avoid the oppression of Southern Gay life. They have traveled to Atlanta to spend the holiday with Aiden's sister and her family. A tragic event occurred involving Aiden's nephew Perry, and the tensions of the tragedy's settled heaviness cause Scott and Aiden to drive up to Asheville, NC in the hopes of having a less traumatic holiday. Aiden, the youngest of the forty-something men, is the only one that is unknown to either of the hosts. While the tragedy of Aiden's family is known among the hosting couple, it is only after Aiden sees a picture from Tom's past that his previous connection to the culprit is revealed. What follows is the unfolding of the tragic events involving obsession, sexual stalking, and the inevitable path that culminated in a preventable murder.

based on a true story is more than a retelling of a senseless act. It explores how we relate to one another in both love and friendship. The book shows that loss can materialize in many different forms, and that the pain lingers on rippling outward, affecting the lives of others for years to come. It explores not only how the individuals deal with tragedy, especially that with a homosexual basis, but also how the community does as well, in both positive and negative ways.

Jameson Currier is not a stranger to adapting True Crime circumstances to fiction while keeping the accuracy of the original case. By changing names and incidental details, Currier created an exciting and gripping account of the events surrounding Matthew Shepard's murder in his previous novel, A Gathering Storm. In based on a true story Currier demonstrates his style of, once again, recreating the situations of another horrific crime of homosexual brutality. Although the longer sentences of first-person narration can be daunting to some, the book easily engages the reader bringing them into the scene as a silent observer to the unfolding of events. Despite its practically being a novella, consisting of only 153 pages, it holds the punch of a more extended account without bogging the reader down with needless details. Currier expertly and carefully explores the details of the senseless and horrific murder that is based on a true story.



Jameson Currier is the author of seven novels, four collections of short fiction, and a memoir and has spanned more than four decades of writing His work has appeared in various places including Christopher Street, Harrington Gay Men's Fiction Quarterly, Wilde Stories, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and Newsday among many other prestigious publications. In 2010 he founded Chelsea Station Editions, an independent press devoted to Gay literature. The following year Chelsea Station literary magazine was released and since has published the works of more than two hundred writers.

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Laughter, Giggles, Moans and Groans; Beyond 50 Shades of Sexy
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2015 FILM RECAP
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Truth be told
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