Not a Day Goes By: A Novel Hardcover – Jul 18 2000
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Set in New York in the closing months of 1999, E. Lynn Harris's tightly plotted Not a Day Goes By bears all the outward markers of a romance by Danielle Steel or Jackie Collins--wealth, glamour, sex, and intrigue--except that the two main characters are more like the wily villains of a Dynasty remake. John "Basil" Henderson, a former football player who has started a successful sports agency with a friend, is a gorgeous, arrogant, bitter, woman-hating, homophobic, African American bisexual who is used to people staring at him. "Especially when I was naked," Basil confides, "My ass was perfect and my jimmie was both long and thick." Basil has fallen in love with an equally alluring figure, Yancey Braxton, a bronze-skinned Broadway singer whose beauty and dedication are matched by ferocious self-absorption and cunning. (Instead of attending her 10-year high school reunion, Yancey sent signed photos of herself and press packets.) Basil feels that his love has rescued him from the shallow life of a player, and he allows himself to believe that she is a good person, and that when they marry, she'll settle down a little and provide him with children. Yancey cares for Basil, too, but her career comes first. After that, sex and money. Babies aren't even on the list.
Harris's most sympathetic characters are Yancey's roommate, Windsor, a plump schoolteacher who spends her spare evenings holding abandoned babies at Hale House, and Zurich Robinson, a gay Christian ex-athlete who briefly considers joining Basil's agency, eliciting a string of ugly clichés from Basil's partner. Meanwhile, Basil, that pillar of integrity, listens in silence. The deal is scotched when Zurich announces that he has been interviewed for an article on gay men in professional athletics. When Basil asks him why he is coming out, Zurich tells him about another young quarterback who tried to run from his sexuality by getting married. The day of the wedding, he shot himself. "As Zurich told the story," Basil recounts,
I could picture the young man and for a brief moment felt the pain he was struggling with. I had been there. But it had never gotten to the point where I wanted to kill myself. If I could have talked to Milo I would have told him, "Roll with it young brother.... There is a way to have your cake and ice cream, too."Suffice it to say that after a series of delicious plot twists and acts of increasing wickedness, it becomes clear that Basil and Yancey are too damaged to save each other. Although the characters in his sixth novel are somewhat two dimensional and his prose a little flat, E. Lynn Harris can manipulate a story line with the skill of an Eagle Scout earning his badge in knotmaking. Don't start this page-turner if you don't have six or seven free hours in which to read it straight through. --Regina Marler
From Publishers Weekly
Following a string of bestselling novels featuring plots that mix romance, deception, betrayal and bisexuality, Harris (If This World Were Mine; Abide with Me) scores again with the much-anticipated return of two of his most popular characters. When John "Basil" Henderson, ex-football player and sports agent on the rise, falls in love with haughty, ambitious Broadway star Yancey Harrington Braxton, it seems like a perfect match. But on the couple's wedding day, which opens the book, the extravagant nuptials are suddenly canceled. The narrative retraces the couple's rocky courtship: Yancey arrives in Basil's life at a critical moment, when his football career is over and he's in therapy examining his bisexual past. He's entranced by gorgeous, stylish Yancey, especially because she looks so good on his arm, but though he feels true admiration and love, Basil also still pines for men. Determined to marry, have children, and keep his homosexual proclivities a secret, Basil doesn't realize that Yancey has a few secrets of her own. Her one true love from her college days reappears, with some scandalous news. When Yancey discovers Basil's "other side," she is horrifiedDbut she quickly concocts a scheme to lay claim to Basil's riches. As usual with Harris, the romance is set within the lavish trappings of the Good Life: upscale vacations, lushly decorated homes, pricey designer duds. Harris has a ball with femme fatale Yancey, who chases film and TV roles with a relentless campaign of lies, party crashing and tantrums. With lean prose and witty dialogue, he brings some new notes, trills and riffs to his familiar song, and his patented knack for a wry, uproarious resolution is in full flower in this sexual War of the Roses. (Aug.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
In this story, John "Basil" Henderson, a erotically appealing, irresistable and diabolical ex-football player has a history with both men and women, plans to marry Yancy Harrington Braxton, a young exquisite talented fledging Broadway star whose enchantment bleeds aspiration. Basil is madly in love with Yancey. He feels like he can settle down and have children which will stop him from being a player. But, Yancey does not want children. At the same time, he is trying to confront his sexual ambiguity that he has for men. Yancey loves Basil, too, but her career comes first and then, money. Yancey and Basil believe that they are a match made in heaven. But, when Ava, Yancey's mother reveals the secret to Yancey about Basil's sexual life it threatens their possible future together. Is Basil going to reveal his secret to Yancey about his sexual life? Could there still be a lavishing wedding?
On the other hand, E.Lynn Harris keeps his audience in indetermination by adding intricacy of past relationships. However, Basil who has had a painful childhood which is troubling him to over come obstacles in his life, as well as, his flushed need to seek out male companionship and Yancey who has been broken-hearted by her first love. This increasingly iniquity novel is a page-turner.
Well, I'm not sure if I have mellowed, or if Harris has just gotten a stronger hold of his talent, because I really enjoyed this book and have already started the sequel, "Any Way the Wind Blows" -
Basil is an ex-pro football player who is now a partner in a very successful sports agency. He has been a player, dog, and sexual adventurer all his life, and seems to have the best of both worlds in that he can get men and women between the sheets with equal ease. Handsome, masculine, succressful and rich, and blessed physically in a way most men would envy, Basil is enjoying the good life of the playa --- that is, until he meets Yancey Butler, Diva in the making, a Broadway actress/singer/dancer that turns Basil on his ear and inside out in bed.
The book begins with Basil calling Yancey the morning of their wedding to say he can't go through with it - and from there on, the rest of this tightly-written novel is a flashback to what led up to that phone call. We learn that what drew Yancey and Basil together in the first place were their terrible, lonely childhoods, where neither of them felt loved and Basil was actually sexually abused.Read more ›
Basil is nearly unrecognizable, all his dirt dog ways behind him, because he now has his sister and nephew in his life and his fiance' Yancey. Yancey continues to climb her way up the Hollywood ladders and is just as in love as Basil. A match like this is nothing less than explosive and the sparks enter the past comes back to haunt them. Basil's men trickle in from nowhere one by one, as does Yancey's former first and most meaningful love with news that rocks her world. None of these people however have bad intentions, but leave it to the principals, in their fear of being found out, to mess up a good thing. Yancey and her scheming mother pull the lid off Basil's past and have every intention of screwing him for life and this is when the old Basil makes his return. Yancey and Basil's uncanny ability to screw up a good thing can all be linked to their real issues, abandonment, sexual abuse and confusion and regret about decisions of the past.
Harris has done it again, this time with two characters that his fans love to hate. The ending is predictable but the route Harris takes to get you there is worth the time. Once again he brings sensitivity to drama by his continued emphasis on friends, family, truth and love.
Most recent customer reviews
This was my first E. Lynn Harris book. His strength is in how nicely his books flow. The details and the storyline moves fast and makes for a good read. Read morePublished on April 11 2004
I liked this story. It was pretty interesting. I would not read it twice and it is not on my #1 recommendation list, but I did still liked it.Published on Feb. 13 2004 by Rachel Dawson
I personally don't know how this book got such good reviews. It Sucked!!!! It took to long to get to the point. Read morePublished on Jan. 18 2004 by Giovonna Moore
I read this because my sister said it was a really good book. This is one of the literary masterpieces everyone dreams of reading. A mixture of sweet and erotic romance. Read morePublished on Jan. 10 2004 by Justin M Kirby
I'm very bias when it comes to Mr. Harris. What can I say except he is a incredible writer. I love the way each of his novels pick up where the other left off, yet introducing new... Read morePublished on June 11 2003 by Amazon Customer
I liked E. Lynn in my early twenties and haven't read a book of his since the first two came out. I wanted to check him out and see how he's grown as a writer (and how I've grown... Read morePublished on Oct. 6 2002
"Not a Day Goes By" is the story of my favorite ELH character Basil Henderson. If you've read other ELH novels then you know that Basil is a sexually confused bad boy. Read morePublished on Aug. 16 2002 by Amazon Customer
I bought this book a long time ago because I read some great review about it, but didn't get around to reading it until this past week or so. I couldn't put it down! Read morePublished on July 19 2002 by bandaid818
Not a Day Goes By has brought to the forefront two of E. Lynn Harris' most intrigueing (and wicked) characters. Read morePublished on July 9 2002 by DevJohn01
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