I am spending this summer sailing. After 2,700-plus articles about the East End of Long Island (the Hamptons), I thought I'd write a novel! The book is now available on Amazon.com for $14.99. Here is an independent review of my "Whistling Past the Hottie Graveyard." It was fun to write.
James “Bone” Delano brings new meaning to the saying, “Life begins at 40.” The divorced father of high-school-aged children has relocated after 20 years of marriage from the leafy environs of suburban Westchester County to a shared ground-floor rental apartment at the low end of the property ladder on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Selling life insurance by day, by night, 40-something Bone navigates a revolving succession of trendy hot spots, overpriced hotel bars, and local corner dives, accompanied by a close coterie of younger men on the make, among them the incorrigible — and seemingly insatiable — Dr. Charlie Dean, and Mark McCloud, the underemployed, yet perennially upbeat, scion of a well-heeled family. "Whistling Past the Hottie Graveyard" is the riotously funny story of Bone’s experiences, framing a vision of Gotham that equally calls to mind Jay McInerney’s "Bright Lights, Big City" and Candace Bushnell’s "Sex and the City," as seen through the lenses of a pair of Woody Allen eyeglasses.
In these most improbable of circumstances, this middle-aged, proverbial “fish out of water” re-acclimates and continuously reorients himself in the course of an epic New York odyssey that journeys through the corporate corridors of Midtown, to the rough-edged bohemia of the East Village, to stately addresses that line Park Avenue, and ultimately to the most distant of shores in the Hamptons on the East End of Long Island. Bone’s adventures, and his friends’ escapades, will have you howling with laughter and wincing in pain, as he seeks out his place in a world obsessed with youth, power, and financial gain.
As a new chapter of Bone’s life unfolds on Long Island, Whistling Past the Hottie Graveyard invokes a vivid tableau of larger-than-life characters, absurd incongruities, and hardscrabble perseverance as it details the overlapping communities of blue-collar locals, transient sailors, and wealthy second-homeowners who populate the “weekend utopia” of the Hamptons. With a wry spirit and an insider’s eye, author T.J. Clemente skillfully balances humor and genuine affection for this rarified setting, and even imparts a life lesson or two, as his story comes to a close at a point of new beginnings. "Whistling Past the Hottie Graveyard" is an engrossing page-turner that reveals that there is, in fact, life after divorce, and perhaps the best is yet to come.
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