“One of the best!” SOUTHERN VOICE MAGAZINE, ATLANTA 11/23/01
Insightout Book of the Month Club Bestseller 2001
LAMBDA LITERARY AWARDS, Finalist 2001
TEXAS INSTITUTE OF LETTERS Runner-up, John Bloom Award, 2001
FOREWORD MAGAZINE, Book of the Year Finalist, 2001
(“ANY KIND OF LUCK” was recently added to the “Top 100 Gay Novels in American Literature” – http://elisa-rolle.livejournal.com/tag/top+100+gay+novels+list & http://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/top-100-gay-novel )
A new novel by William Jack Sibley
“Can two Chelsea boys survive life in rural Texas? That’s the question that William Jack Sibley answers in ANY KIND OF LUCK, his hilarious and high-spirited debut novel. Thanks to a family crisis, 37-year-old Manhattan actor/hand model Clu Latimore (along with his lover, Chris) finds himself back in his hometown of Grit, Texas, for the first time in years. Here in the land of barbeque, Baptists and bluebonnet flowers, they discover a cast of eccentrics that would send Tennessee Williams scrambling for his pen: from Miss Oveta, the bejeweled town dowager and her oh-so-fey “adopted son” Mr. Jeffrey, to Brother Ramirez, a Mexican-American faith healer, to a blue-haired, tattooed, out and proud gay teen,named Brandon. Before Clu’s trip is over, there will be lover’s betrayed, secrets revealed, new romances and heartwrenching goodbyes — not to mention a wedding, birth, funeral and no-holds-barred production of Agamemnon: The Musical. (Kensington – 288 pages, hardcover and paperback)
“This is the tequila-fueled, Southern Gothic Texas that George W. Bush doesn’t want the rest of the country to know about.” – InsightOut Book of The Month Club Review.
” ANY KIND OF LUCK is lively, funny and moving. Sibley is off to a good start!” – Pulitzer Prize (Lonesome Dove) and Academy Award winner (Brokeback Mountain), Larry McMurtry
REVIEWS: “One of the best from 2001!” Book Nook, Gay Today, Jesse Monteaguado, 12/01, (http://gaytoday.badpuppy.com/garchive/reviews/111901re.htm)
“Sibley’s tale is humorous and full of memorable characters and laughs. (His) vivid writing style is fresh and unique; his use of unusual metaphors and descriptive text sets him apart from the ordinary. (The) story is thoroughly entertaining, and readers will easily identify …” — Inside The Cover Book Reviews by Amy Brozio-Andrews (http://www.absolutewrite.com/novels/any_kind_of_luck.htm)
“Energetic, delightful…right on the money. Sibley’s bouncy story line…conclude this light, humorous book…shot through with campy one-liners and happy endings.” Publishers Weekly, 7/30/01
“Hilarious characters and breezy but comically entertaining plots that don’t strain the brain. Enticing and nutty…an energetic, frenzied take…wildly funny…charming material…spicy,endearing characters. (It) will certainly make you giddy, an emotion we could use more of these days.” James Piechota, The Bay Area Reporter, 8/17/01
“Sibley has written a valentine to his home state (Texas).” John Griffin, San Antonio Express-News, 9/5/01, Section G, Page 1 (http://news.mysanantonio.com/story.cfm?xla=saen&xlb=640&xlc=284818&xld=100)
“If you’ve forgotten what it’s like to read just for fun, pick up Any Kind of Luck … a very affectionate look at life in a small Texas town (and) Sibley captures it so well, you might feel as though you’ve been home again.” Ella Tyler,The Houston Voice, 9/7/01, (www.houstonvoice.com/houstonvoice/out/record.html?record=16715)
“What a first novel it is! The author has a grasp of the metaphor that rivals Tom Robbins. Sibley creates a story so fresh and new that it blows past the reader’s expectations.” Graham Averill, The Fort Worth Weekly, 9/20/01, (www.fwweekly.com/issues/2001-09-20/art.html)
“To mix serious fiction wIth laugh out loud humor is a difficult task, but William Jack Sibley has succeeded in doing just that … strong characters and inspired dialogue … marvelous ability to create believable characters facing trying situations with dignity and humor.” Juliet Sarkessian, Lambda Book Report, September 2001, (www.lambdalit.org/lbr/anykindofluck.htm)
“Deals humorously with coming out, coming home, and coming to terms with one’s identity. It’s a lot of fun.” P. J. Willis, Unzipped, September 2001, page 64 “Sibley has a knack for the apt phrase … (he) plunges gleefully through his first novel, pulling the reader along in his wake on a hilarious and breathtaking ride.” E.B. Boatner, Lavender (Minneapolis), Oct. 5, 2001
“…a book that has some muscle to it. A touching story and one I definitely recommend!” Joe Hanssen, Gay Mans Guide, Oct. 3, 2001, (http://gmgto.com/arts&ent/books/top3oct2001.htm)
“… Funny, engaging and all around delightful … Sibley’s writing is honest, refreshing, reflective …” Kim McNabb, Chicago Free Press, 10/24/01, (www.chicagofreepress.com/102401/books.html)
“…delightful characters … captivating plot and sparkling dialogue … this book teaches us some valuable lessons about family, friendship, our hometown and ourselves.” Jesse Monteaguado, The Weekly News (South Florida), 10/25/01, (www.twnonline.org/newsarchive/011025/book_nook.htm)
“…hilarious and high-spirited … I cried through the last ten pages. This is a humorous debut novel which is also tender, painful and enriching.” Toni Pizanie, Ambush (New Orleans), 10/01, (www.ambushmag.com/is1501/sappho.htm)
“Engrossing … the storyline is detailed, the characters treated with love and dimensionality …the message is that of healing and love without being preachy.” Jess Littleman, Quest (Madison, WI), 11/01/01,(www.quest-online.com/Pages/QonlineGenericPages/usa.10.html)
“An incredibly colorful cast of characters … will certainly provide a hoot!” D.L. Trout, Gaywired.com, 11/01, (www.gaywired.com/Index.cfm?linkPage=/storydetail.cfm&Section=81&ID=7861)
“This is the tequila-fueled, Southern Gothic Texas that George W. Bush doesn’t want the rest of the country to know about.” InsightOut Book Club, 11/01, (www.insightoutbooks.com)
“Chock full of great Lone Star State one liners and pearls of wisdom, Sibley does a lovely job …” Instinct Magazine, 11/01, page 67
“Sibley affectionately shows us a Middle America not stuck in the dark ages when it comes to alternative lifestyles … a fun read.” Torso Magazine, 03/02, page 60
“…addresses the need to make peace with the past (and) trust one’s innate character …funny and moving.” Update (San Diego), March 7/02, page 22
“A moving and funny romp … touching and witty first novel by William Jack Sibley.” Prodigy.net (Community), August 2002, (http://communities.prodigy.net/gay-lesbian/)
“…a twist on every turn of the page. A rollercoaster ride that you simply can’t miss out on.” Capricornslair (http://www.capricornslair.com/anykindoflucb.html)
“Any Kind Of Luck proves that it’s no disgrace to come from Texas. It’s just a disgrace to have to go back there. If you don’t think this book is funny, you deserve the death penalty!” — Kinky Friedman, novelist, musician, Governor of Texas nominee.
“Witty, charming and spiritually touching. If Noel Coward had been a novelist, his book might have read something like this” — Film Director (LOVE STORY) Arthur Hiller
Articles, Excerpts, Interviews, Misc. (partial listing)
“Southern Lights: PEN South, Literary Review”, Vol. II, (1997),
Chapter excerpt Genre Magazine, August 2001,
Chapter excerpt The New York Blade, 8/31/01, Interview – www.nyblade.com/arts/010831c.htm
Texas Public Radio, KSTX, 90.1FM, 9/6/01,
San Antonio interview KUHF-FM, 88.7, “The Morning Show,” 9/13/01,
Houston interview The Texas Triangle, 9/14/01,
Cover Interview, www.txtriangle.com/archive/949/coverstory.htm
The Dallas Voice, 9/15/01, Interview,www.dallasvoice.com/news/print_article.cfm?article_id=1025
KSRK, 540 AM, “Karen Grant Show,” 10/01/01, Monterey, CA
interview KPFK-FM, 90.7, “Chris Allen Reviews,” 11/05/01, Los Angeles interview
“An Evening With The Authors”, Dr. Eugene Clark Library Benefit, Lockhart, TX, 10/19/02
Links to ANY KIND OF LUCK:
Borders.com,The Twig Book Shop (TheTwig.com),Book People (Bookpeople.com),Crossroads Market & Books (eclikt.com/cr_main_shopper.htm), Walmart.com
http://www.allreaders.com/board.asp?BoardID=13880 Rigby Taylor posts on 11/3/2008 9:55:59 PM
“Any Kind of Luck is very funny, witty prose, more of a clever script for a TV series than a novel… and very readable. Says a lot of sensible things about what it’s like to be gay, about relationships and the ‘human condition’. Best gay read I’ve had for ages.”
Is It Possible to Go Home Again?, September 10, 2001
Reviewer: Joseph J. Hanssen “Joe” (Upstate New York) – See all my reviews
I hate to say this is like most contemporary gay fiction being written today, but it is. This isn’t a bad thing, in fact, it’s great that fiction can center more on our own families, as well as our nuclear families, and just talk about everyday life, its problems, and events common to most of us, whether we are gay or straight. This is an interesting read, a very quick read, and a pleasant way to spend a few hours. The story centers around Clu, a man who’s in his 30’s, and his return home to a small town in Texas, called Grit. He returns home with his psychic lover of eight years to help his mother, who’s sick with cancer, thru the last days of her life. The story goes off in many directions,but the theme is whether a man from the big city, of course, Manhattan, can really go home and find peace & happiness in his old home town. Will he & his partner, Chris, be accepted back home by friends and relatives now that he is openly gay? Clu relationship with his partner also gets tested when a blond, muscle hunk named Preston enters the picture. Anyway, you get the picture here. A light, easy read, but a book that has some muscle to it, and one that proved to be interesting enough for me to really enjoy it. I especially related to his loving and very caring feelings toward his mother, and how much they bonded near the end. I was touched by Jack Sibley’s sensitive writing of this very special time that Clu spent with his mother. I experienced the same feelings when my own mother had cancer. A touching story, and one I definitely recommend!!
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Cute, funny., September 2, 2001
Reviewer: Michael T. Rognlien (Seattle, WA USA) – See all my reviews
Having never heard of this author but having read the reviews of the book, I figured I’d squeeze in one more fluff summer read before the weather turns cold and my reading more introspective. I was not disappointed. For anyone who has enjoyed books by Robert Rodi, Doug Guinan, or the other “Gay Light” authors, this book is a must-have. Anyone can imagine the humor of two gay men who move from the ultimate chic locale (NYC) to hick Texas – it’s a given. There’s plenty of camp, plenty of humor, a bit of preaching thrown in (how could a queen from NYC move to the sticks in TX and NOT preach?) and a colorful cast of characters.. all in all a very enjoyable book. Look forward to next summer – hopefully Mr. Sibley will have another one out in time!
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An Amazingly Fun Read !, April 16, 2006
Reviewer: Guy V. De Rosa “Tenacious One” (Los Angeles, California USA) – See all my reviews
This book was terrific. I have had it on my shelf for awhile and picked it up not expecting anything special. To my surprise it was one of the most fun reads I have had in a long time. The characters were amazingly well developed. Probably the best thing about this story was that it was one that caused me to laugh out loud (those around me would ask what I was reading, I mean we’re talking a good hearty laugh), and at the same time Sibley confronted issues that were serious and important. I recommend this one highly, it addresses important issues in a humorous way with characters that you truly get to know and love…don’t miss this one!
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THERE IS LIFE AFTER DEATH !, July 19, 2005
Reviewer: Paul A. Minafri (Phoenix, Arizona) – See all my reviews
ANY KIND OF LUCK is one of those gems that hides among those not so great pieces of gay fiction, and with “any kind of luck”, you, the lucky reader will discover. This book is one that is touching and sobering at the same time. Impending death is the driving force behind the plot line, since the slow death of Clu Latimore’s (he’s our hero) mother is what precipitates the story. Clu is a Texan who left the Lone Star state for a brighter career in modeling. He and his lover of 8 years, Chris, are summoned back to Grit, Texas, (Clu’s hometown) to care for his failing mother. This doom however is a metaphor for what is happening in Clu’s life, his preconceived notions, his razor sharp advocacy of gay rights, and his life in general. There is also a underlying theme of life renewed; a circus tent minister bringing “rebirth”, the dawn of love, the birth of puppies, and …well….the plot will tell you itself.
While this book appears to be somewhat “fluffy” if one simply takes it for its face value, if one reads with acuity, one will discover the wonderful messages hidden within. I liked this book, liked its message, and highly recommend it. Like I said, it is a hidden gem.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
What a whirl!, January 30, 2005
Reviewer: Chad Sosna (Chicago) – See all my reviewsOy! This has all the spice of Tex-Mex, the pathos of going home to Mom, and small-town hickness that will have you rollicking with laughter–and empathy! It’s the story of Clu, a somewhat successful 30-something New Yorker, who returns to his small hometown in Texas (called “Grit” of all things). His mother has cancer, but that doesn’t stop the announcement of an impending marriage to a minister. Clu has to overcome small-mindedness, getting the hometown to accept Chris, his lover (who happens to be psychic) and has to deal with his redneck brother and ever-pregnant sister. You won’t be bored!
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Chihuahuas, Musicals, Tex-Mex, Coming Home, Staring Over…, May 25, 2003
Reviewer: Jonathan Burgoine “bookseller” (Ottawa, Ontario Canada) – See all my reviews
Normally, when I read gay fiction, I get frustrated by the plethora of perfect-looking single men with adequately successful lives bemoaning the tiny imperfections that plague them. When a perfectly built jock-stud with a long string of one-night-stands suddenly wakes up one day and says, “Gosh, I wish I had a true love,” I have a hard time gathering much empathy.
This isn’t one of those stories.
Here’s the deal. Moderately-successful Hand-model Clu Latimore lives on Christopher street in Manhattan with his eight-year-long lover Chris, the Latin teacher. Though Clu has a lot of internal monologue about how he can’t figure out why Chris, such an attractive man, is still with him, they’re a good, solid couple.
Clu gets called howe – to Grit, Texas – when his mother’s impending death to cancer looms. And though the plot from there really shines with a lot of really odd bits and pieces (a tex-mex musical version of Agamemnon, a pack of breeding Chihuahuas, his brother digging for buried treasure, his sister’s umpteenth attempt at being pregnant, and a country that just screams hick and angry), it’s the characters that keep this one going.
Clu is alternately enjoyable and frustrating. Anyone with emotional baggage from their family can easily empathise with the guy’s situation, but you want to smack him over the head every time he takes a well-meaning comment someone else made and turns it into an impromptu “This is why what you said is homophobic” seminar. Clu’s relationship with Chris takes a path I really didn’t expect, and there’s a betrayal that made me ill, but – let’s face it – read quite true.
I guess the word “plausible” doesn’t sound like it should belong in a tale that includes a tex-mex musical Agamemmnon, but honestly, I can’t find a better word to describe the characters nor the emotional reactions. I’ll watch out for Sibley in the future.
Surprisingly well done, December 8, 2002
Reviewer: Darshan “darshan1” (Houston, TX USA) – See all my reviewsI have to say that based on previous experience with Kensington, the publisher of this book, I didn’t expect something engaging and well-written, but I enjoyed Any Kind of Luck thoroughly. I agree with other reviewers that the story is full of eccentric, generally likable characters. Clu, the main character, frequently gets self-righteously angry at the sometimes less than enlightened locals, and at one point I have to say I thought that Clu went a little far. His problems with his temper seem a little out of place considering his generally congenial and considerate personality. Also, his partner Chris starts to drift from Clu as the book progresses, and unless it’s Clu’s irritability that bothers Chris, Sibley doesn’t make it clear (to me anyway) why Chris might be falling out of love. There are some fantastic turns of phrase, and I envy Sibley’s ability to weave so many plot lines into a cohesive and very satisfying novel. Sibley also details the contradictions of contemporary rural Texas in fascinating and humorous ways.
Baha Oklahoma – Only Better!, October 31, 2002
Reviewer: Rocky Macy “theroost” (Noel, Missouri United States) – See all my reviewsThis is a truly fun read – truth, wisdom, and yapping Chihuahuas dished up like so much hot Texas chili. Some daring Hollywood exec needs to option this work and get it onto the big screen.
With “Any Kind of Luck” you’ll won’t go wrong, June 16, 2002
Reviewer: Michael S. Waren “schoeder” (Chicago, IL USA) – See all my reviews
Funny, touching, througly enjoyable novel about a gay man (Clu Latimore) and his partner going home (Texas) to care for his sick mother dying of cancer. The whole idea of going back to “samll town” life strikes a chord in several gay men and I think it is the part I enjoy the most about this book. Although some critics argue that this is a “quick, fluff beach read” I rate this novel a notach above the likes of “California Screaming” and “Misadventures in 213” Those characters seem stupid and mindless, while the Clu Latimore ( althought a pretty boy character) has to face a “dilemia” that has been growing for sometime. Hoever, the problem is one the author William Jack Sibley doesn’t forshadow you on. Making it come out of nowhere, but life it like that at times. Still I would read another novel by the author, I think this book would make a cute movie.
Leaves You Laughing, March 29, 2002
Reviewer: Todd Ransom (West Hollywood, CA) – See all my reviews Any Kind of Luck is not the kind of book you read on an airplane unless everyone around is wearing earphones. The vivid imagery and colorful characters will force you to leave an imprint on someone else’s eardrum. If chicken soup is good for the soul, Any Kind of Luck is good for the heart. William Jack Sibley’s book is a melting pot of small-town characters, puntuated with dysfunctional family members, coupled with gay relationships…not to mention a menagerie of Chihuahuas at foot. You will find yourself anxiously awaiting the next hilarious entry in each chapter. Witty, charming and heart warming. With William Jack Sibley, it has nothing to do with luck, but everything to do with talent.
a literary page-turner, March 7, 2002
Reviewer: Andrew Berzanskis (Austin, TX United States) – See all my reviewsWilliam Jack Sibley has an ear for dialogue, a quick wit, and–thank God!–not a boring bone in his body. Tucked inside this novel of pick-up trucks and Noel Coward-caliber one-liners, “Any Kind of Luck” tells a surprisingly touching story.
Hilarious! (And profound without the headache), March 6, 2002
Reviewer: A reader
I loved this book! Sibley captures something so fresh and funny and at the same time, very moving. The whole premise of returning to your small, rural, conservative birthplace – with gay lover in tow – and surviving with integrity, humor and yes, tears – says tons about anyone (gay or straight) growing up, getting-down-the-road and attempting forgiveness in general. Laugh out loud funny, terrific metaphors, great dialogue. Wonderful, satisfying read. I want more!!
quite a surprise, November 13, 2001
Reviewer: gary moore (jacksonville, florida United States) – See all my reviewssince gay fiction is so hard to come by,(or good gay fiction i should say)i wasn’t sure of my choice in this book at first.after the first chapter i’d decided i’d made the right choice.
this is a great first effort and the author should feel encouraged to write more.
Transcending a genre, October 1, 2001
Reviewer: “krebago” (SAN DIEGO, CA United States) – See all my reviews Gay fiction has recently been beset by a large volume of titles offering the so-called madcap adventures of gay men and their friends and families. Examples range from the sublime, Doug Guinan’s California Screaming and Dennis Hemsley’s Misadventures in the 213, to the abysmal, e.g. Ben Tyler’s Tricks of the Trade.
What makes some of these books excellent reading is the skill of their authors in creating characters who are more than charicatures and situations which are more than cliches. Any Kind of Luck is a novel which easily could have veered off in any number of over the top directions and could have presented any number of completely unbelievable small town eccentrics, but the author resists such temptation at every turn. He obviously would rather tell a story of some substance than just go for cheap laughs. He also has the rural Texas and Neanderthal Baptist things absolutely nailed down. The result is that each character, no matter how bizarre, rings true, and the situations successfully tread that fine line between unlikely and impossible which marks the difference between a satisfying read and an infuriating one. The relationships here are true to life, and the author has a gift for economical but vivid description. I felt I’d grown up in Grit, Texas, myself and knew all those people. And it was refreshing to read about characters who are capable of change and growth. I’d heartily recommend this novel to anyone.