Tuesday, April 23, 2013

20th Century Un-limited by Felice Picano

20th Century Un-limited by Felice Picano
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Of the two stories, the second and shorter one, Ingoldsby, is the better.

Told through a series of newspaper articles and police reports, and then through a long journal entry, it's the story of a straight man who meets some friends, one of them gay, and all may not be what it seems. I liked the story enough, I thought the format a little annoying.

The first story, Wonder City of the West, wasn't great for me. A little too cliché.
The story concerns a man who goes back in time to Hollywood in the mid 1930's. A ton of research was done by Picano, saying this intersection has blank when before it had blank, but it seems to go on too long. I don't live in Hollywood, I don't know any of these intersections. I also don't know any of the many movie stars mentioned. The author seems to have a fascination with Golden Age Hollywood and this was a way for him to revisit that, which I appreciate, but it wasn't for me.

The story was overly enthusiastic and light, reminding me that, as in the movie To Wong Foo, all you need to make things better is a light touch by a fairy. The gay main character seemed to exist only to help the straight people along.

I picked this up for the time travel angle and felt it wasn't in enough of either story. I think one thing you're looking for with a time travel book is "What would I, me, feel like going back in time?" and I think Picano's POV is just too different from mine to be relatable.

I do love the book cover.

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