September 06, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT

Tommy's Tale

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Alan Cumming
publisher
Regan Books
genre
Fiction
We gave it a B+

Alan Cumming — the Scotsman who won a Tony for his role as the Emcee in Broadway’s revival of ”Cabaret” and cowrote, codirected, and costarred in the independent film ”The Anniversary Party” — expands his repertoire further with Tommy’s Tale, a randy, ribald semiautobiographical first novel. Consider it a bisexual ”About a Boy,” only with lots more shagging and partying. Tommy, Cumming’s amusingly immature protagonist, is pushing 30 and torn between his conflicting desires to (1) have sex and snort cocaine with men and women in bathroom stalls, among other places, and (2) get serious with his ”sort-of boyfriend” Charlie and get closer to Charlie’s son, Finn.

Cumming has a breezy way with words, though the chapters written in fairy-tale-speak quickly grow tiresome. Still, there are enough sharp social observations, not to mention sleazy sexcapades, to make ”Tommy’s Tale” a naughty diversion.

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