I’ve had a hard time coming up with a proper review for this book. It’s just so special to me that I feel like limiting it with the sound words I could say about it won’t suffice at all. Aspiring rock star Topher Manning (who first appeared in The Nothingness Of Ben) had a weird but surreal field day when he met Stanton Porter, a music critic from New York who’s in the small town of Dime Box in Austin for a music festival. With luck on his side, he found himself getting a ticket to see Bruce Springsteen, which led to many possibilities that neither he nor Stanton ever expected.
I do love how Stanton’s past and future clashed in the story. The retelling of his past gives me this nostalgic feeling, especially with the talks of music, Stanton’s early college days, his friendship with Marvin and the guys, and his relationship with Chris / Hutch. It was just unbelievably sad.
I also fell in love with Topher here. That guy is the cutest thing ever! I loved his personality, and the exuberance of his youth towards Stanton is just too adorable. He’s the perfect book boyfriend – sweet, sexy, intelligent, sensitive, and cute rolled into one!
I thought the whole reincarnation thing was sad and beautiful at the same time. There’s this one particular scene where I have to stop and tear up when Topher asked Stanton if he minded Maurice calling him Stan. Stan then answered, “Maurice can call me whatever he wants. He was always my favorite” (referring to Michael)
I also loved the extensive pop culture references here. It was so good it’s almost overwhelming. One of my favorite moments in the book was the Greatest Game scenes – both games played in the past and the present (Topher’s time.)
You see, The Return is one of those books that have its magic. It has its power and that something special that would stay with you for the longest time. It’s the perfect book to bring when soul searching or when you want to laugh or cry. The Return will give you all the options – pull different emotions out of you. If you liked The Nothingness Of Ben, The Return would be the perfect follow-up. It’s just perfection. Again, thank you, Brad Boney, for writing this fantastic piece of gem.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
About The Author
Brad Boney lives in Austin, Texas, the 7th gayest city in America. He grew up in the Midwest and went to school at NYU. He lived in Washington, DC and Houston before settling in Austin. He blames his background in the theater for his writing style, which he calls “dialogue and stage directions.” His first book was named a Lambda Literary Award finalist. He believes the greatest romantic comedy of all time is ’50 First Dates’. His favorite gay film of the last ten years is ‘Strapped’. And he has never met a boy band he didn’t like.