Retro Rerun: Book Reviews — Day Of Confession & The Golden Globe

| Apr 20, 2020
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By Elizabeth Parker

Our headliner this month is the newest by Allan Folsom, Day of Confession. It is a thriller of the type I love best; action-packed, lots of interesting characters, and a delicious villain or two. Its plot is incredible, a Cardinal in the Vatican who believes he is the incarnation of Alexander the Great, plotting economic power via mass-murder in China. Yet Folsom develops the storyline realistically, which enables us to suspend our disbelief.

The hero, Harry Addison, becomes involved when his brother, Danny, a Vatican priest, is killed in a bus explosion in Italy. When he flies to Italy to bury his brother, he is shocked to discover he is a suspect in the murder. We find out that the brother heard a guilt-ridden Cardinal’s confession and he must be killed because of what he knows.

Of course, our villain must have a good henchman to do his dirty work. The Cardinal enlists Thomas Kind, a world-renowned terrorist, clearly modeled after Carlos the Jackal. Kind is slim, around 5’10”, and a master of disguise. Midway through the book, he must escape a manhunt, and of course, how better than to become Julia Louise Phelps, a real estate agent from Sacramento? Julia is apparently a very attractive woman, as man after man flirts with her. Through a series of scenes, Kind makes his way from northern Italy to Rome in the guise of Julia Louise Phelps. Along the way a young policeman charged with looking for him flirts with the woman with a distinctive smile. A man who is too smart for his own good is killed while giving Kind a ride. Each incident shows how confident Kind is in his masquerade; flirting with each man such that there is no question of his femininity. Kind’s masquerade is quite exciting, spiced up by his flirtatious manner.

The descriptiveness is average, with some elements of his disguise extensively discussed, while others, such as his hair, totally ignored. But because of the quality of the book, with this part added, I wholeheartedly recommend it for your reading pleasure. This isn’t classic literature, but it is a lot of fun.

The next book is The Golden Globe, by John Varley. Long-time mainstream transgender fiction readers know John Varley writes many Science Fiction stories and novels with sex change themes interwoven. He predicts a future we all look forward to, where sex changes are as common as cosmetic surgery today, and his characters commonly spend time as both sexes in many of his stories. In fact, one of those characters, Hildy Johnston from Steel Beach, appears in this novel.

This story is a change in that it involves an actor/conman, Sparky Valentine, who has had himself modified so that he can make complete cosmetic and physical changes to his body to appear as many different people. The book starts off with a bang, as Sparky is acting in Romeo and Juliet as Mercutio. As the play starts, the troupe discovers that the actress playing Juliet hasn’t shown up. Sparky volunteers to take her part on as well, and manages to play both roles in a hilarious opening. His cosmetic changes involve some pain, and the quickness required forces him to pay a price for his chance at stardom.

Sparky’s changes include the ability to turn his penis inside-out, which is fortunate, as in the Romeo and Juliet of the future, real sex is involved. He accomplishes this part of the role successfully, and even ad libs when his Romeo has trouble with impotency.

This opener had me convinced that this book would be a headliner, but the rest of the book proved to be a disappointment for transgender activity. It was quite an interesting and entertaining work of fiction however, much like the later work of Heinlein. At the denouement, there is a quick and quite unique crossdressing episode which I will leave to you to discover.

Folsom, Allan, Day of Confession, Little Brown & Company, 1998, ISBN: 0316287555 (Hardback) Amazon
Varley, John, The Golden Globe, Ace Books, 1998, ISBN: 0441005586 (Hardback) Amazon

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Category: Product Review, Transgender Fun & Entertainment


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