October 20, 2000 at 04:00 AM EDT

Hornito

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Mike Albo
publisher
HarperCollins
genre
Fiction, Gay and Lesbian
We gave it an A-

A Hornito is a type of volcano, which this debut novel’s protagonist — named, like the author, Mike Albo — constructs as his entry in the eighth-grade Sleepy Hollow Science Fair. It’s also a metaphor for his adult existence looking for love with the proper go-go boy. The dual cover photos of crotch and volcano mirror the book’s structure, which alternates between a contemporary New York City of days in temp jobs and nights at gay bars and the kitschy milieu of Albo’s suburban childhood. The author, a brilliant monologuist, loses speed on the page, but his caustic observations about how ”advertisers are beginning to treat gay guys as they’ve treated women for years, drowning us in envy and then selling us gym memberships” still rock. A-

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