Skip to content

King Trevor

April 18, 2012

Recently I did something I have never done before, and will rarely ever do again—I read an advance copy of a novel, King Trevor by Susan Helene Gottfried, on my computer screen. Why did I do this? Because it’s the sequel to Trevor’s Song, and I very much wanted to know what happens next.

While Trevor’s Song was well-plotted, King Trevor is more of a character study that peters out. It answers some of the questions it raises, but leaves others open, and the effect is anticlimactic.

Trevor is now coping in his own inimitable fashion with his physical constraints. That part will ring true to almost anyone who has ever been through physical therapy:
“This defeated pose was so unlike Trevor, it was almost scary. Except… she’d seen it an awful lot lately. The longer it had been since Trevor’s onstage collapse, the more he’d done this. As if the slow healing was more devastating than the actual injury.”

We also see Trevor stepping in to help his best friend Mitchell’s wife Kerri with her family troubles. We learn more about Kerri, but the final revelation about her family doesn’t seem to me to justify all the secrecy and build-up. It seems like Kerri’s mother is a merely an overbearing conformist:
“I’ve been living my very public life while my dear, darling mother tells everyone I’m dead!” … Stevie kept watching her, trying to understand this new Kerri. In so many ways, she was the same sister he’d grown up with, but how could she be? From the night she’d left on the spur of the moment, making him drive her to the bus station at midnight, until now, her life was a mystery to him. All he really knew was the bare bones: She’d gotten to town in the middle of the night and wound up living with two drag queens, rent-free if she kept the place clean. She’d posed nude for art classes to help meet her tuition and turned into one of the rare straight women who was accepted by the drag queen community. Being a whiz with their makeup and then, after art school, painting their portraits as a way to bring in money hadn’t hurt, either. That’s when she’d met Mitchell—and had been oblivious enough to believe he was a struggling musician. But more than that, Stevie had no clue. Was her favorite color still purple? What were her favorite TV shows?”

Still, the pleasure of a novel about Trevor is seeing Trevor in action, and there’s plenty of that. The scene he makes when Kerri finally agrees to meet her mother in a restaurant is lovely:
Trevor made a show of yawning—loudly—and stretching his arms over his head. “Yeah, it’s all about you, lady.” He sat forward, his brown eyes snapping. “Don’t you know dick around here? I’m Trevor Fucking Wolff, and it’s all about me, not you. Now shut your whining and tell me how having you around is going to do more than piss me off.”

From the way King Trevor ends, I’m hoping there will be a third novel, and it could even be the second book I’m willing to read on a screen. So my disappointment in this sequel may be only a momentary chafing because it wasn’t long enough and didn’t yet deliver on all the promises it makes.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. April 18, 2012 2:52 pm

    When I saw your FB comment, I thought I was going to find that you loved it so much you want even more more more! But it lacked a bit and that’s the ‘more’ you need, huh? Oh well. Here’s hoping you get that book 3. 🙂

  2. April 19, 2012 8:16 am

    It is because I love the parts about Trevor that I want more. I like to see him in action and hear more of what he has to say. He and Kerri and Mitchell together are extraordinary, and they got dragged down by the ordinary (Kerri’s family) in this part of the story.

  3. April 19, 2012 3:03 pm

    Wow, woman. You’re giving me food for thought… LOTS of it… hmm… I see what you’re saying about the ordinariness of Kerri’s story — but that’s an insight you’ve shown me, not something I had been able to see before you rubbed my nose in it. (And thank you for rubbing my nose in it; that’s what keeps me honest!)

    • April 20, 2012 11:12 am

      It is weird for me to talk about a book when I know the author is probably going to read it. I almost chickened out, with this one, but then I decided there were good things to say, and I hope that will keep you going.

  4. April 23, 2012 3:51 pm

    I’m glad you didn’t chicken out! I’ve spent too many years in writers’ workshops to get upset over what comes across as truly constructive criticism.

    Of course, if you’re not careful, I may ask you to be an early reader/critiquer for me!

    • April 23, 2012 4:24 pm

      I will agree to be an early reader with pleasure, depending on the timing of your needs and the demands of the academic year (greatest in September and April, the cruelest month)!

  5. April 24, 2012 7:11 am

    Sounds like a plan, lady! Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: