Beckwith, Christopher. "What's In It For Me"? BookSurge, 2008.
Filling the Gap
One of the things very obviously missing in gay literature is books by and about African-American gay people. There are a few but not nearly enough. Along comes Christopher Beckwith that adds something. Beckwith is a new author who gives us a thriller about Ronald Davis, an architect in Atlanta and who travels to Houston where he meets his Mr. Wonderful. He seems supremely happy but when he returns to Atlanta, he comes on tragedy. Davis is a young man driven by ambition and he feels that he has missed something in life. He comes across as confident and successful but he feels the need for love. He, however, accepts this even though it seems to be the only thing missing in his life. Davis' boss is a strong man and when he asks Davis to go to Houston, he feels he must go and he and a co-worker, Steve Sullivan, embarks on a trip that will change his life forever. Davis is pleasantly surprised at all the options that Houston has to offer and he meets a man who, despite the most unlikely situation, becomes the love of his life. It is only when he returns to Houston that he faces a tragic situation and he is forced to deal with heartbreak. Beckwith writes emotionally and as we read about Davis' world, we too are swept up and cast in an emotional roller coaster that abounds with thrills. The writing is crystal clear and beautiful and it is hard not to be taken in by both Beckwith's style and story. We also feel that what happens to Davis can happen to any one of us and that it is indeed possible to fall in love at first sight. As you read the book, you find yourself laughing and crying--sometimes at the same time. There is inspiration and redemption in the book and I was constantly amazed that his was Beckwith's first venture into writing a novel. If "What's In It For Me?" is a sign of what Beckwith can write then I predict that we will be hearing more from him. In the meantime, pick up his book and get ready to meet real characters who tell a very real story.
It is refreshing to come upon a new writer who is skilled at telling stories free of pretenses, and able to utilize the spectrum of language to incorporate both eloquent narrative and spicy colloquialisms. And these are only some of the gifts Christopher Beckwith brings to his debut novel WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME?, a significant tale of pan sexuality in the African American community and the overriding importance of both genetic and extended family in coping with variations from the 'normal' modes of … more
Ronald Davis, a promising Atlanta Architect, has grown content with the coveted life that he has accepted as his destiny. Although there's no questioning the fact that he's been dealt a desirable hand, the lack of true love proves to be the underlying attribute missing from his otherwise fulfilling existence. At the adamant request of a favorable yet unyielding boss, Ron finds himself compelled to travel to Houston on an untimely business trip with his co-worker Steve Sullivan. Making the best of the situation, Ron soon realizes that Houston has more to offer than he expected. To his surprise, the visit presents him with a positive twist as he meets the love of his life in the least likely of prospects. After spending several fun-filled days in Houston, Ron returns home to find himself blindsided by the tragedy of a lifetime. Forced to confront the heartbreak head on, Ron grievously ponders the question, "What's in it for me?"