Whee! What a ride. Can we talk?
Part of me wishes I'd read it as a serial, because damn, it's a big unwieldy beast of a story. I loved being able to go straight through, but reading it that way it felt almost too big, you know? Like there was a lot of introductory stuff and character think and such at the start of each month that might not have been included in a story actually intended to be a continuous read. So I didn't really approach it as it was intended to be read, I think, and I can't fault it for that. Plus, wow. Compelling. I couldn't NOT keep reading. Awesome stuff.
As far as I could tell, the visions of JC and Justin moving through this world, living these lives as businessmen and publishers, were completely plausible. Which is more than saying the details seemed right, because duh, why wouldn't they, considering who wrote the story. It's more a matter of their personalities, their reactions to each other, to their work and their lives. The story really worked for me as an extrapolation of their personalities in this life, thoughtful and insightful, excellent.
Truthfully, I had been warned that I might not like this version of JC, and that some of the other characterizations were really hardcore, too. But someone recently mentioned not liking the characterizations and it gave me a chance to think about that. My answer to that, copied here for sheer laziness:
Well, the characterizations do push the envelopes of what the guys seem like to me, although Justin in particular seems right on. JC is way driven, but it works, I think. There's a certain fluffiness in the "real" JC that's missing from this one, a quality that might actually be a function of the playfulness that's expected (or allowed) in the celebrity/popstar lifestyle, and wouldn't be appropriate in this businessman. I think the extrapolations are plausible.
Joey's a little more difficult for me to accept, all bumbling and sloppy, but again, extrapolation. He's got his talents, never been challenged to develop the qualities JC's expecting him to show, so I'm okay with him. Chris is right on. The mediator guy, able to move between/among worlds, because of his sheer lack of bullshit. Love it.
I find it interesting that kaelieth like to write Justin as the young uncertain seeker with potential, and JC as the experienced (sometimes jaded) forceful sly aggessor. I like it! It's just interesting.
I wrote that when I was about halfway through, and I pretty much stand by it now. I didn't mean to leave out Lance! I really liked how Lance and Justin's friendship contrasted to JC and Chris's, nice mappings of the dynamics between them in "real life." Lance and Justin, (relative) youngsters starting out in their respective careers; Chris one of the few people JC lets in, because of their old friendship, and really, how could you keep Chris out? Chris and Justin, also, were a delight. Chris and Lance just made me say "hee!" Lance and JC... oh, well. Maybe later, when JC's feeling less threatened.
As for this JC, OMGLUST. Wow. I could go on and on about the complexity of JC in this, but I'll try to contain myself and just say my favorite aspect of his personality is how he's so controlled on the surface, but his emotions are completely rich and forceful and overwhelming. I was so pleased by how strongly JC responded to Justin, because it seemed just right, a man of great passion who values control, in the face of LUURRRVE. Hee!
Except as I continued to read, I found myself less pleased by Joey's character, because I felt a bit manipulated by how he was drawn. His extreme level of incompetence and his reactions to the Five Year Plan situation seemed exaggerated for the sake of creating the rift that just HAD to show up between JC and Justin at that point in the story, because that's what happens in a romance whenever love blooms between difficult people. Don't get me wrong, it worked, and the whole situation was thoughtfully laid out and set up, but boy, hard on him as JC may have been, I couldn't help but wonder how Joey would ever succeed at the university press, not because he's a incompetent boob, but because his behavior at Phoenix showed him to be completely hostile, passive aggressive, and unprofessional.
But whatever, all of that falls away in the face of how much fun the story is, a really great read.
Also, when Elise was named Director, I cried. *rolls eyes*
Hurricane season proceeds apace. I have begun preparing my survival kit. I have five cans of soup and some double-A batteries. Of course, all of my flashlights take C or D cells, but at least if my power goes out for 29875 days in a row, I'll be able to keep all of the vibrators humming along.
Also, the Orlando Sentinel posted a list of necessary items, and such is the nature of my willingness and determination to be really ready this year that I actually contemplated the canned milk for several minutes, before remembering that I don't drink milk anyway. But it's on the list.
And okay, yeah, it wasn't just because of stalking JC that I'm not moving back to Taos right now. Just wanted to clarify that. It's because when I moved down there in the first place, lo these many years before, I went with 400 bucks and an asshole of a boyfriend who thought it perfectly reasonable to budget the drugs and alcohol first each month. Times were fucking hard for a while, if by "while" you mean approx. 4 1/2 of the 5 years I lived there. Also, since Taos is primarily a tourism-based community, there simply IS no income for roughly five months of the year. I have no intentions of living that close to the street again, yo. Nor do I want to be the person I became for a while there to survive. I want to do things right this time around.
Also, after making this really difficult decision, I suddenly have three invitations to do stuff with friends, and I've been getting all kinds of little fluffy signs that I'm going in the right direction. So WEIRD.