From Publishers Weekly
The Second Time Around is the sequel to B-Boy Blues, Hardy's hugely successful first "Africentric" gay hip-hop novel. Raheim Rivers is back, and he's trying to pick up the pieces and carry on with his life. The narrative is mostly dialogue?either Raheim's conversations with himself or with the people in his life?and it provides an engaging, immediate window to Raheim's character and his dawning maturity. The novel begins with and is centered around Raheim's reconciliation with his lover, Little Bit, who left him after Raheim hit him in a fit of jealousy. Through a series of flashbacks to his youth, readers learn what made Raheim the man he is now?a black man in love with another black man, not entirely out of the closet, prone to bursts of verbal violence and, most importantly, a man with an enormous capacity for love and for learning from his mistakes. Added to Raheim's struggle to win back Little Bit's trust are the complexities of co-raising his son, L'il Brotha Man. Raheim is determined to be a better father to his son than the one who left him and his mother behind. Things move in cycles of beginnings and endings, from Raheim's burgeoning modeling career to L'il Brotha Man's graduation from kindergarten. The result is an upbeat tale which, while confronting issues of violence, racism and homophobia, is romantic, absolutely sensual and downright funny.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Fans of Hardy's stereotype-breaking B-Boy Blues
(1994) will welcome this sequel, not least because it picks up where B-Boy
left off, with gentle, educated, conventional-English-speaking, upper-middle-class Mitchell and his homeboy lover Raheim, whose family doesn't know he's gay, who speaks rappish black English yet is well read and wants to be a good father to his son, Junior. Mitchell is still writing freelance, Raheim is making it big-time as a model, and Junior still worships his daddy. The plot unfolds a little less quickly this time, but Hardy continues to astonish in such moving scenes as Mitchell's meeting with Raheim's mother and former wife. Equally important are the revelations Hardy affords of the reluctance with which two black socioeconomic classes come together and of the gap between the black gay and straight worlds. These concerns in Hardy's fiction elevate it from the level of mere entertainment to that of the work of such classic socially critical American novelists as Sinclair Lewis. Charles Harmon