December 10 , 2009


A Tale of Seduction


Debonair oddball B. K. Troop is delighted when Chris Ireland, a 25-year-old aspiring writer, moves into his apartment building in January 1984. The dark-haired, sexy Christopher (as B. K. insists on calling him) is still reeling from his divorce from an aspiring actress, but B. K. is convinced he can work his subtle charms on the younger man. Like any entertaining seduction yarn, things don't quite go according to the seducer's plan. Christopher responds to B. K.'s overtures of friendship but nothing more. Under B. K.'s watchful (and frustrated) eye, Christopher first jumps into politics, and when that proves unsuccessful, he turns to a New Age guru who hosts a self-help seminar known as "The Weekend." Though he's jealous when Christopher falls for the wife of the owner of his favorite restaurant, and later when he sleeps with one of the students he tutors, B. K. never loses hope of seducing his young neighbor. He does, however, make a startling discovery about himself: somewhere along the way, he's fallen in love with Christopher. Burnett captures perfectly both the mid-1980s setting and the feelings of both his lovable, predatory narrator and his elusive quarry. B. K. is both hilariously outlandish and utterly touching.

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