Sex and Sunsets by Tim Sandlin
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
I never considered a professional dishwasher as a viable career option. Although for a brief period of time in my misguided youth, I did practice the art of a sanitation worker, aka garbage man, even going so far as to toss random cans and paper boxes into my mom’s shopping cart when her back was turned at the grocery store. But now I may have to rethink my present career path and the financial stability of my family by turning in my shirt and tie for a white smock and a pair of rubber gloves. In order to complete the picture, though, I will need to become mentally unstable, although given the instability of artists this shouldn’t be particularly difficult. And I will need to relocate my wife to Wyoming, but I’m sure with the right amount of persuasion—and the fact that it’s only a few states away—this shouldn’t be a difficult task to accomplish either. I mean, let’s face it, there are worse places to live, like Mississippi or Montana. And I may need to seek out the affections of rowdy rodeo girls and prescription popping blondes, but again, that could easily be explained away as well.
Kelly Palamino is my new literary hero, even if he’s mentally unstable, hears voices in water, including streams and toilets and showers, and visits a psychiatrist once a week, because he shot tequila directly into his veins and nearly caused his own cardiac arrest. He may be more than half-crazy, but he’s just so damn loveable. His voice nearly caused me to laughably combust on multiple occasions. He falls in love with a football punting bride, and focuses his varied talents on the singular act of winning her over, taking male focus and drive to a whole new level.
Colette Hart may be nearly as crazy as he is, but that just makes him love her all the more. She’s eccentric and beautiful and just so gosh darn wonderful that I rooted for Kelly every step of the way, even when he had more than a few setbacks and nearly exceeded his expiration date. While he might have had more than a bit of trouble with love in the past, he certainly doesn’t have any trouble with devotion. And he has no trouble categorizing his women: Platonics and Romantic Interests.
Every red-blooded male needs a thrill-seeking best friend like Cora Ann. She’s young and vibrant and perky, and has her own hang-glider. What more could a man ask for?
Even the structure of SEX AND SUNSETS appealed to me, delving into the past and present with nearly equal abandon, and tapping into the tangential thoughts of our expert narrator. I don’t know if I’d give it a ten, but it certainly comes pretty darn close.