I'm not an E. Lynn Harris fan.
There. I said it. ...
Good writing is all about suspending your reader's disbelief and I don't believe a goddamn thing in his books for one minute. There's nothing wrong with creating characters that are financially successful, good-looking, and enjoying the results of their hard work. But these people are ALWAYS well-off, going to elite functions you wonder how they were about to get through the front door of without the absence of a gag reflex, and holding high paying jobs that I'm surprised allow them time for anything when not working except sleep. The working class is almost completely absent in these stories, despite the fact that that's a large portion of his fan base. None of these characters (except for the effeminate best friend/comedy relief, whose right there with a wise-crack -when not fucking everything or dying for emotional content) get into dilemmas that you honestly wonder how they'll overcome them, every loose end neatly sewn up like a bunch of weaves at a hair convention. I haven't seen closure this eeriely seemless since The Cosby Show.
"I stood on the balcony of my four bedroom apartment on the Upper West Side, taking in the view of the city through my polorized DKNY glasses. As I sipped my Chardonay from the flute glass I purchased from Norstrom's, I removed my foot from my $175 Kenneth Cole loafer, admiring the handiwork of my fresh pedicure."
Oh, bitch, please.
And I'm sure that a Prada-clad gang of his devotees are outside my house right now as I write this, debating the best way to punish me for such blasphemy and make it home in time for Project Runway. But Harris has got to be the cockteasing-ist writer in the world when it comes to a sex scene:
"Brent unzipped my slacks, reaching his muscular hand inside my silk boxers, and stroked my sex."
"Your sex"? Who the hell are you: the black gay Sidney Sheldon? I'm sure the millions of straight women that read your novels won't get their panties in a bunch if you use the word "DICK". When you read a sex scene it's supposed to turn you on, making you grateful that those carpentar jeans you're wearing are loose-fitting around the crotch area. You bookmark it, tempted to sneak into the men's room during your lunch break and revisit it later. But Harris' make you feel like you're 8-years-old again, begging your mom to buy you the Captain Krunch advertising a posible Star Wars action figure, getting home and tearing that bitch open to just find...(SONOFABITCH!)...more cereal.
*Hears angry, fasionably-coordinated mob outside door trying to break in front door*