Justify My Sins: A Hollywood Novel in Three Acts
by Felice Picano
Beautiful Dreamer Press. 349 pages, $19.95
THE LATEST NOVEL by Felice Picano is about a critically respected, bestselling gay author from New York who goes to Los Angeles to work in the film industry. The three acts of the novel focus on gay life in L.A. and on the business of Hollywood at three different times: before the AIDS crisis, after it had largely passed, and in the present day, told from the perspective of an older man. The cultural observations are interesting, the sex scenes exciting, and the gossip specific and detailed. However, the most notable element of Justify My Sins is its tight focus upon its main character, for whom these adventures are mostly unimportant. Though his aloofness eventually diminishes, for most of the novel the narrator maintains an emotional distance from the action, which creates a distance for the reader as well.
Justify My Sins is clearly a novel rather than a memoir, but the life of the protagonist, Victor Regina, resembles that of the author quite closely.
Jeff Solomon teaches English and gender studies at Wake Forest U.