Fifty Reasons to Say Goodbye – A Novel by Nick Alexander

50RTSGMark looks for love in all the wrong places and always ignores the warning signs preferring to dream, time and again, that he has finally met the perfect lover until, one day, he really does.

Through fifty different adventures, Nick Alexander takes us on a tour of modern gay society: bars, night-clubs, blind dates, Internet dating and gives us a series of candid snapshots and a poignant exploration of that long winding road; the universal search for love.

It has short punchy chapters, (think Maupin’s Tales Of The City) and so is perfect for those who want to pick up something for a few minutes.

The dialogue is flat and repetitive, and mistakes such as the consistent use of ‘lay’ instead of ‘lie’ (‘He’s sleeping soundly and as I lay there…’, plus countless other examples, given that there’s a fair amount of lying – and laying -) are extremely irritating. Awkward sentences such as ‘I push the mouse gently away from me, delicately, bomb-like’ give the disconcerting impression that the narrator himself is being compared to an explosive… The punctuation of the dialogue is excessively slapdash and sometimes very misleading. The unexpected use of figures (‘I start seeing Catherine 6 months after I split up with Jenny’, like the ‘50’ of the title) is equally disorientating.

50RTSG 2Occasionally the reader comes across something more profound and serious: “I know that all relationships start with the search for similarity, I also know that they all end with the affirmation of difference.”

He makes a verb out of “double take.” One Roberto de Milano “seems larger than life, brick-chicken-shed of a man.” He is also very good at summing up in a few sentences what many of us have felt about a PNB (Potential New Boyfriend) the moment we sense that we have taken a wrong turn and are heading in the wrong direction a la Robert Frost. About Luc, whom the narrator has met in the internet.
“‘I feel happier here than I have for ages.’
A Cold front moves over my heart; I shiver. . .
‘I love this,’ he says. ‘I love being here, your house, the garden, the cat,’ he laughs. ‘I think I love you too,’ he says.
It’s too soon and it’s all too much. And it’s all the wrong way round. I can feel my heart closing down. . . I don’t want to be the all-in-one solution to anyone’s problems.”

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