White Guys

Anthony Giardina’s beautifully written White Guys brims with the angst of the American male, neutered by a wife, emasculated by suburbia, and worn down by work. But the novel weds a delicate Updikean sensibility to a Dennis Lehane plot, without achieving the full power of either. As a kid, Timmy O’Kane envied sexy, reckless Billy Mogavero; years later, Billy still lives in their gritty hometown, while Timmy ”escaped into something better.” Sadly, ”better” means a brittle marriage, trophy house, and soul-killing career. When Billy — still sexy, still reckless — reappears, Timmy starts to come to terms with what he really wants. Alas, the noir plot never reaches thriller speed, and Giardina’s dueling portrait of American manhood feels overly schematic.

White Guys
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