Farrell Covington and the Limits of Style

Atria. Jun. 2023. 368p. ISBN 9781668004678. $28.99. F
Nate Reminger comes to Yale from suburban New Jersey and begins a decades-long romance with the novel’s title character, the youngest son of an extremely wealthy and conservative family. Screenwriter and novelist Rudnick (Jeffrey; In & Out) has created a charming group of friends who support the pair throughout their romantic trials, and it is these interactions and certain set pieces, (such as a dinner party at an aging Broadway actress’s home) that entertain. Nate is a likable narrator, and it is clear pretty early on where the story is going, but the problem is Farrell himself. It is stated numerous times how beautiful and charming he is, how everyone he meets becomes instantly smitten, and perhaps if this were a film, one could see that, but he fails to seduce on the page. Rather, he comes off as rather whiny and superficial, which makes the relationship feel flat and not worth the years of Nate’s longing. A pleasant read, but one that does not linger.
VERDICT For fans of romantic comic novels and LGBTQIA+ literature.
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