I first read Tim and Pete by James Robert Baker shortly after it was first published in 1992. I liked it very much then and I like it perhaps more now on second reading.
I was inspired to reread it because I am rereading all of Jody's novels as I scan them to safeguard from any possible loss (we had a wildfire evacuation here last September and it was scary to think that the bulk of her writing could have been lost forever), and prep manuscripts for upcoming publication. One of Jody's novels reminded me of Tim and Pete, and in another amusing coincidence, the servo-robots in her soon-to-be published SF satire Devil May Care are Nancy Reagans (see below).
Like much good satirical writing, Tim and Pete is fueled by a righteous anger at the hatred and discrimination experienced by gay men in the aftermath of AIDS, and skewers the hypocrisies of American society in a riproaring 24 hour odyssey through LA's gay underbelly.
'Not all fags are nelly pacifists' warn the PWA anarchists intent on blowing up Ronald and Nancy Reagan. They're damn mad and they aren't gonna take it anymore!
But lest you think this is a heavy read, it most decidedly is not! Tim and Pete are likable well-drawn protagonists, Baker is a superb writer, and the novel is funny as hell! Provided you dig black humor of course.
Through the art and music scene of the day; through swanky Santa Monica and the riot-ravaged South Central; hidden backroads off Mulholland Drive and memory-haunted crumbling bath houses, Tim And Pete is an iconoclast's tour-guide love letter to the city and the times that I happily let seduce me. I recommend you do the same.
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