The Book Report: The eponymous Dreyfus, baseball star Randy, is an All-American Guy with a wife and two daughters. Randy is a man with a problem, however: He's coming to know, at age 28, that he is really a gay man living a straight man's dream life. My Review: I'd love to live in the America of the ending of this book. In fact, what with some more adventurous sports stars like Ben Cohen starting to come out as against bullying and homophobia as cultural forces, it might *be* this world soon. So I find the Hollywood ending of the book, with the two men walking onto the field together to play a World Series game, poignantly amusing if improbable to the point of alternate-Universe-ness. But the trip to get there is, well, amusing and improbable: the soon-to-be-ex-wife is all sympathy and understanding, a thing no woman of my acquaintance is when she's being left for someone else, and I mean *not*one*of*them* who've had it happen, the two daughters not being shown to be bullied mercilessly for having a fag-daddy (ha!), and the Salty Old Sports Columnist coming out (oops) in their favor...! (Another improbable-to-the-point-of-humor concept.) And then there are the odd choices, like making D.J. a black man who's the bottom and Randy a white top who plays *pitcher*! They are also the source of stress and tension in the gay mating market, because logically two men having sex can't BOTH do the same thing at the same time, and a great big stigma attaches to the bottom (I hope I don't need to explain the source of these names...that would be too depressing...although Randy, our hero with the porn name srsly, RANDY?!, is specifically revealed to be clueless about how to satisfy his lust for D.J. until a specific moment in his 28 years of life!), as it does to the effimnate man.
I tend to think the book was more optimistic than I would be about the public response if these events actually occurred, but when I think about it, I realize that there were mention of the negative responses, it just wasn't dwelt on.
But when security footage of Randy and DJ emerges, just as the Vikings are headed to the World Series, there is a call by a lot of powerful people to invoke the same clause banning the two lovebirds from the game for life. This book was published twenty years ago, years before Billy Beane became the first MLB player (and he was already out of the game) came out of the closet.
3.5 stars This is a love story between two great baseball players, Randy, a heterosexual White with a gorgeous wife and two kids, and DJ, a Black, gay and single guy. I liked that: - Randy's wife really loved him - Randy was deeply flawed and DJ was far from a saint.
Now, make room for another classic in the canon, The Dreyfus Affair: A Love Story. Randy Dreyfus, star shortstop for a Major League baseball team (I wont tell you which one), is not only on his way to the pennant, the world series, a batting title and a possible MVP award, hes got the Hall of Fame in his sights as well. Peter Lefcourts The Dreyfus Affair is a topsy-turvy, out-of-control, mile-a-minute, laugh riot, with more ups and downs than a Coney Island roller coaster.
As a rule I am not fond of satires (and this book is to a large extent a satire) but what gets me every time I read this (and this was the third time, I think) is the fact that the subtitle is oh so true.
This story was more a hypothetical telling of the scandal that develops when two star players in the Majors (in a team that's contending for championship no less) are found out to be gay and the implications (basically, the Dreyfus affair is a fitting name, very clever pun).
Subsequently, he has divided his time between screenplays and novels, publishing The Dreyfus Affair in 1992, his darkly comic look at homophobia in baseball as a historical analog to anti-Semitism in fin de siecle France, which The Walt Disney Company has optioned twice and let lapse twice in fits of anxiety about what it says about the national pastime and, by extension, Disneyland. Princess Diana's own stepgodmother, Barbara Cartland, who was herself no slouch when it came to publishing torrid books, declared Di And I "ghastly and unnecessary," which pushed the British edition briefly onto the best-seller lists. In a paroxysm of misplaced guilt, the editors of "People," to make amends, declared it a "Beach Read," which helped put the book ephemerally on the Best Seller lists during the summer of 1994. Lefcourt's research on a movie for HBO about the 1995 Bob Packwood canard was the germ for his next novel, The Woody.