Justify My Sins by Felice Picano would be a great beach read or book to bring with you on vacation. I’m unfamiliar with the accomplished author who has published two dozen novels, short stories, and memoires but his easy writing style and humorous storytelling made this an enjoyable and easy read.
The story is “A Hollywood novel in three acts”, taking place in New York City and Los Angeles or “El Lay” as he writes on the first page. That witty and slightly saracastic style is prevelent throughout the 300+ page book which was published in 2019.
The shallow storyline and characters who are as deep as the kiddy pool (as I’m prone to say), make this an easy and uncomplicated read. The novel focuses almost exclusively on the sexscapades of the main character and his friends, the author’s ongoing wrangling with Hollywood studio executives and agents, and the excessive lifestyles of those people Victor meets along the way.
The “three acts” take place in 1977 when the main character, Victor Regina, is a young best selling author and the sex is easy and uncomplicated before picking up again in 1986 at the height of the AIDS epidemic, and closes with a more sanguine and worldly writer in the final act in 1999. Picano does a good job of making the main character (whom I assume is loosely based on himself) likeable and interesting. And for gay men who have lived in Los Angeles, I’m sure the author’s references to places in and around Los Angelese must be fun to read. If you’re looking for a light, gay-themed novel this is a good option. You’ll definitely find yourself chuckling throughout the novel.
If you’re interested in purchasing this book and open to supporting local bookstores, try one of the links I’ve shared. You’ll be able to order it online in just a couple of clicks. Alternatively, you can check your local library for a copy of this book. Here is a link to the BPL copy for Justify My Sins.