“Gulliver Takes Five” by Justin Luke Zirilli— A Follow Up to “Manhattan”

gulliver takes five

Zirilli, Justin, Luke. “Gulliver Takes Five”, Encore, 2012.

A Follow Up to “Manhattan”

Amos Lassen

I always thought I was pretty much up-to-date on gay publishing but I learned that I am not. Just last week, I posted a review of “Gulliver Takes Manhattan” and ended it with hoping that there would be a sequel and sure enough it had already been written and on the market. Be that as it may, “Gulliver Takes Five” is not exactly a sequel; it is more of a “companion book”. You do not have to have read the earlier book to enjoy this but if you have, you will be better able to know the characters.

This book is about one night in the life of Gulliver Leveren as seen by his closest friends.  There are six friends: “Marty, Gully’s ex-boyfriend, who gets a shot at a breakthrough role that could propel him straight to Broadway; hotheaded Brayden, who copes with a breakup by carving a path of blistering revenge across the city; bickering exes Servando and Rowan, for whom a subway breakdown ignites a powder keg of drama and discovery; Gully’s former best friend Todd, whose job as a gay nightlife promoter is turning out to be anything but glamorous; and go-go boy Chase, finally facing some hard truths about his life—and trying to cope with his harsh reality”. Together we visit New York behind the scenes—the New York of party boys.

In this book, Gully is taking a break from the hectic Big Apple gay night life—he is still around in flashbacks but now the story belongs to his friends.  We go with Gully to a humongous party at eWrecksion and when he gets there, he notices that none of his friends have come. It seems that the day of the big bash, each friend has some kind of personal crisis. Sex and betrayal are everywhere as is revenge, romance and reunion. Something went on with Brayden at Fire Island, Marty is dealing with heartbreak, Chase is chasing his dreams Servando and Rowan’s relationship bounces like a volleyball and Todd is dealing with Gully’s betrayal and absence from the scene. So even though Gully is really not around much, we get a look at gay Manhattan through the eyes of others.

There are some serious themes discussed here—open relationships, communication, dealing with exes, self worth, self esteem and partying. It is like watching gay New York awaken in the morning and dealing with what happened the night before. We read about what happens when the glitz begins to tarnish. We see what happens when a relationship is opened-up.

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