Currier, Jameson. “Why Didn’t Someone Warn You About Prince Charming?”, Chelsea Station Editions, 2019.
How We Live: Truth to Fiction
One of the first writers I ever reviewed when I began my website some 14 years ago is Jameson Currier and I have maintained a literary love affair with him ever since. The man and his writings are, quite simply, a gift to us. Now with “Why Didn’t Someone Warn You About Prince Charming?”, he brings us twelve new short stories that show how he sees gay romance including the mistakes we make and the heartbreaks we suffer.
Whenever I review a collection of short stories, I debate with myself whether to write about each story and/or look at the collection as a whole and as I write this I face the same dilemma. I feel somewhat guilty in that I have had my copy of “Prince Charming” for quite a while now and I finally understand why it has taken me so long to write this. I simply was not ready to part with my thoughts. I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to go back and read it again and again, knowing in advance that each time I would find treasures that I had not found before.
We read of a college student dealing with his secret inner feelings for someone of the same sex, a story reminiscent of the way many of us dealt with the same feelings. There is another story about a man dealing with a non-reciprocal crush a complicated, unrequited crush on his roommate (who just might be HIV-positive), another story to remind us of how own lives. Not only do we read of inner feelings but of the possibilities of relationships but what happens within relationships. We have crushes, first loves, older romances and what ifs. It is as if we are reading about life as it is and has been.
I found myself in so many of the stories but especially in these lines from the story that gives the volume its name, “You were never supposed to reach sixty.” “You survived a premature birth, the AIDS decades, the Y2K bug, 9/11, four hurricanes, [for me, being in the Israeli army during three wars], three broken ribs, and two heart attacks. You don’t know whether to feel grateful or cursed.” (I actually had decided that I would concentrate on these but Kirkus Reviews got to them first).
I, like Currier, am originally from the South so I loved that many of the characters are Southerners who have moved North to look for love. But even with this similarity between characters, there are great differences between the stories. They all are, however, written in Currier’s wonderful prose and are loaded with his sharp wit (like the man himself). There is also emotion here and if you have ever read any of Currier’s work, you know that he is a master at relaying emotion. Taken as a whole, this is a book about love, waiting for it, enjoying it and losing it.
I could tell that these stories come from deep inside and they take us deep inside ourselves. Deep inside is somewhere we need to be once in a while and the catharsis from that usually makes us feel good. Remembering can be painful but it is also important and I cannot think of a better person to guide me down memory lane Jameson Currier.
Table of Contents
Superman Will Save Me
Sometimes You Have to Settle for Popeye
(even though You’d Rather Play with Bluto)
Mr. Darcy’s Pride
Elvis at Three is an Angel to Me
How to Obtain an Alfred Hitchcock Physique
(and Bonus Dark Psyche)
My Adventure with Tom Sawyer
Half of Hamlet
My Night with Rudolph Valentino
What Would Q Do?
The Devil’s Cake
Why Didn’t Someone Warn You About Prince Charming?