Book Review: Basketball Jones by E. Lynn Harris

August 18, 2010

I love to read books by black authors….let me take that back. I love to read books by black authors with substance. I don’t read Zane or others who write similarly because I can’t find the story line behind all the sex. My favorites are Eric Jerome Dickey, Terry McMillan, BeBe Moore Campbell (RIP). The story lines are complex and the characters make you long to read every word to figure out what happened to them. I hang on to their every word, lol. Every now and then, I have to let another author enter my bookshelf.
I have only read one other E. Lynn Harris book in my life, A Love of My Own. It was a great book. I had always been gun shy about E. Lynn and the reason probably sounds preposterous. I know that he was an openly gay man during his life and that his characters reflect that. I was afraid that I wouldn’t know how to take a graphic gay sex scene unfolding on the page. Silly, I know. A Love of My Own had straight main characters in addition to the gay ones… I never got a real feel for it. Basketball Jones changed all that. I am going to say right off that I loved this book. It is only 246 pages long and I read the majority of this book in one day. 
Here are the liner notes: “Aldridge James ‘AJ’ Richardson is living the good life. He has a gorgeous town house in always flavorful New Orleans, plenty of frequent-flier miles from jet-setting around the country on a whim, and an MBA – but he’s never had to work a regular job. He owes it all to his longtime lover, Dray Jones. Dray Jones the rich and famous NBA star. They fell in love in College when AJ was hired to tutor Dray, a freshman on the basketball team. But Dray knew if he wanted to make it to the big time, he must juggle his public image and his private desires. Built on a deep, abiding love, their hidden relationship sustains them both, but when Dray’s teammates begin to ask insinuating questions about AJ, Dray puts their doubts to rest by marrying Judi, a beautiful and ambitious woman. Judi knows nothing about Dray’s “other life.” Or does she? In Basketball Jones, E. Lynn Harris explores the consequences of loving someone who is forced to conform to the rules society demands of its public heroes. Filled with nonstop twists and turns, it will keep readers riveted from the first page to the last.
This book has all the elements of a good read. Mystery, blackmail, lover’s triangles, betrayal…..DRAMA! Once I really got going, I could not put it down!! It did teach me one valuable thing: regardless of sexuality, we all love the same. We fall hard and deep (no pun intended, seriously). I can could a lot of myself in the main character even though it was about the unrequited love between two men. I highly recommend it!
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