Semper Fi, Christopher Rice

Today is a big day for author Christopher Rice.  Not only does he turn the ripe young age of 30, his novel Blind Fall is released.

Blind Fall is about one former Marine’s journey to accept his past, to understand his relationships with his Captain, who turns out to be gay, and his younger brother who recently committed suicide. 

Here is my review:

“Few writers can compel a reader forward as breathlessly as Christopher Rice, while along the way showing (through the characters’ actions) a principle or statement about society. Often either the action suffers from didacticism or the message is lost in the action. Not here – action and meaning work seamlessly together in a rich tale.

The main character is driven by a sense of loyalty – sometimes recklessly – but he also suffers from problems that are epidemic in American culture: Homophobia and an ideal of hypermasculinity that is ultimately unattainable; and beliefs that he must be a protector and that he owes penitence for his past failures in this regard. He must overcome these flaws and feelings of inadequacy and by the end he does, in a credible manner.

The relationships are also poignant. Love between men can be a brotherly platonic sort of love, the kind that allows them to survive in combat, or it can be a marital and sexual love that allows them to survive a lifetime together. Rice demonstrates both kinds of love and how men who feel one can come to understand the other. This is difficult territory in American literature and Rice is brave to tackle it, and he succeeds masterfully.”

You’re probably familiar with Rice; he’s had three NY Times bestsellers and his mother is world-renowned for her books as well.  Both of these photos – Christopher looking very bad-boy-yet-vulnerable to the right, and the one below, with his mom, are absolutely adorable.  My plan to is videotape his book reading in Chelsea on March 25 and post it here on this blog in April.  He’s kindly given me permission to do that (although I’m not sure his publicist is aware of it, but hey, forgiveness is always easier than permission, just as Governor Spitzer, er, maybe that’s a bad example).

“I instantly felt at home here. And it’s nice to be closer to him.”

By “him” she doesn’t mean a higher power but her only child, Christopher, 29, who smiles as he sips a Diet Coke at the end of the couch.

These are good times for the writing Rices. Although still sorely missing their patriarch — poet and painter Stan Rice died of a brain tumor in 2002, and his image and works line the house — mother and son are releasing new and wildly different novels.”

Click here to read the rest of the story from USA Today about this fabulous mother-son writing duo.

(The photo of Christoper Rice was taken by Michael Childers; photo to the right of Christopher and Anne Rice was taken byb Michael T. Larsen and Tracy Talbert for USA Today)

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