A NovelBook - 2002
Newell never really belonged in Pastel, Alabama. Ready for a change, he buys a one-way ticket to New Orleans. The year is 1978 and the rambunctious city beckons with its famous promise of bright lights, excitement, and men everywhere.
Newell makes his way, finding a job in a pornographic bookstore and renting a room in the French Quarter. His good nature, good looks, and a daring stunt in a popular bar make him a quick favorite of the town. Soon he has friends. Some are harmless, like Henry, a pudgy sidekick who's a frequent denizen of the porn shop's movie booths. Others prove more dangerous, like party-boy Mark, Newell's first beau, who has a penchant for recreational drugs. Finally, Newell encounters the volatile Jack, who shows Newell the blackest heart of the city.
Boulevard , Jim Grimsley's fifth novel, reminds us that Grimsley is what Publishers Weekly calls "an accomplished stylist and a complex moralist." He takes one character's dream and reveals what can happen when dreams are fulfilled.