Reviewer: Alan Chin
Publisher: Chelsea Station Editions
I’ve lived through two twenty-year relationships, and almost all of my close friends are in multi-decade partnerships. I know first hand that no relationship is easy and that all couples fight, no matter how much they love each other. Jameson Currier, in his Forever Marathon novel, takes an in-depth, forty-eight-hour peek into a challenging relationship.
Jesse and Adam have spent twenty-four cantankerous years together, through ups and downs, through all the whining and bitching, and through countless petty fights and major battles. They are finically set, throw fabulous parties, and are the envy of their friends. Their friends, however, can’t see how miserable they are. Now on the backside of their forties, they are running out of time if they are to find happiness. But first they must figure out what happiness looks like, and determine if it is attainable or simply a myth created by the media industry.
Mr. Currier had accomplished something truly remarkable: He has presented two highly unlikeable, self-absorbed, clichéd characters, and woven them into an interesting story that keeps the reader turning pages. He does that by making Jesse and Adam so real they resonate within the reader. We’ve all known couples like them, the ones we joking call ‘The Bickersons’, and we’ve all wondered what goes on when they are alone. Mr. Currier gives us an hour-by-hour examination of how far a couple will go in a game of one-upmanship, taking a petty fight into all out war.
Jesse and Adam are the gay version of George and Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, with enough humor thrown in to match Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas in War of the Roses. The story swings from present to backstory like a pendulum, giving a great deal (perhaps too much?) of the couple’s history.
Currier has presented, in my opinion, an honest depiction of middle-aged gay men in a long-term relationship. He gives keen insights into such relationships, and in the disappointments and fears of growing older. This is a funny, exasperating, touching read.