BOOKS: WITTY ULYSSES

GETTING OVER HOMER TRACKS A BITTERSWEET QUEST FOR LOVE

If lovers in fiction are to be divided into givers and takers, then Blue Monahan is one of its greatest philanthropists. In his 30s, he has arrived late to the world of relationships, but he has developed a heart the size of the Ford Foundation. He offers all--affection, unflinching honesty, gifts of fine silverware--to the men he falls for, but his charity is almost always misguided. Blue's lovers are a cold, selfish lot who rebuff his devotion with parting lines like, "Weakness isn't sexy."

Blue is the sort of tragically fragile figure someone like Jean Rhys might have created had she...

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