“The question Rechy asks is still potent: Would you die for sex? Rechy’s sizzling literary response . . . is as exciting as it is chilling.” Pamela Warrick, Los Angeles Times
The Coming of the Night
978-0-8021-3742-5 • $12.00 • Paperback • Oct. 2000
When it was first published, John Rechy’s City of Night created a sensation and became an international bestseller. In The Coming of the Night, Rechy returns to some of the themes and scenes of his now-classic first novel. A stunning evocation of gay desire in the moment just before AIDS, this book confirms the author’s position as America’s preeminent gay writer.
It is 1981, a hot summer night, and an unscripted ritual is about to take place. Jesse, “the kid,” is celebrating one year on the dazzling gay scene and plans to lose himself completely in its transient pleasures. Clint has fled New York with a sense of unease in the wake of a vicious gay-bashing and a night in the sexual underground. Buzz, Boo, Toro, Fredo, and Linda are cruising the city looking for danger, and so is Dave, a “leatherman” devoted to S&M and testing limits. And a priest is searching the streets for a young hustler named Angel, determined to bring him to Jesus. In this city of night we meet, among others, a black cowboy, a bodybuilder obsessed with his sexual prowess, a hilarious drag-queen porn director hired to rehearse her stars for a closeted Hollywood mogul, and a middle-aged romantic hiding in memory and fantasy from a new gay world increasingly obsessed with youth and beauty. As the Santa Ana winds, renowned for stirring up desires and violence, breathe fire down the hills of Los Angeles, this cast of characters circles ever closer to the nightand to a confrontation as astonishing as it is inevitable.
The Coming of the Night is as much an ode to the golden age of promiscuity as it is an unflinching exploration of the dark side of desire. Tightly constructed, beautifully executed, humorous, and compassionate, it proves once again that as a novelist and trenchant chronicler of gay life, John Rechy has no parallel.