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Saturday, February 08, 2003

Book review: Two Paths to Now


Can honesty save lives? That question seems to linger between the lines of Dann Hazel's novel Two Paths to Now. The dialogue and interior monologues of the teenage main character (Rusty) are completely believable. So is the situation, which involves two generations of deceit and closets.

I've met or received e-mail from many people who are in situations similar to the ones Rusty and his parents must endure. Most people say to keep homosexuality locked away and silent, no matter how much lying and pain that requires. But can honesty save lives? Well, read the novel.

In addition to believability, Hazel also creates beautiful prose. Often, the paragraphs become extremely short, with terse but elegant phrasing that captures the tensions and fears that haunt Rusty and the other characters. Though I usually hear Hazel referred to for his nonfiction work, I think his fiction deserves much more attention.