B.K. Troop — a middle-aged, witty, bipolar, alcoholic homosexual — lives alone in a cramped New York apartment. His life is turned upside down when his best friend, Sasha Buchwitz, dies and leaves him her Manhattan brownstone. To afford the property tax, B.K. turns his new home into a colony for young, struggling artists, to whom he can serve as mentor, if not muse. He christens the place the House Beautiful.
The House Beautiful tells the story of a fateful summer when a young man named Adrian Malloy arrives at B.K.’s door, lugging a suitcase and dragging a garbage bag crammed with what B.K. presumes to be odes and sonnets. Overjoyed to have found a new poet, B.K. sweeps Adrian into his home and under his wing.
At once hilarious, romantic, wise, and lunatic, The House Beautiful tells the story not only of B.K.’s emerging friendship with Adrian, but of all the artists’ adventures that summer, as they struggle to make art and love.
From Publishers Weekly:
In the follow-up to 2003’s Christopher, screenwriter Burnett continues the story of B.K. Troop, a hilariously repugnant and flamboyant middle-aged gay novelist. Living on a small trust, B.K. is tickled pink when a friend dies and bequeaths him a Manhattan brownstone—until he crunches the numbers. To cover taxes and mortgage payments, B.K. rents rooms on the cheap to young painters, writers and actors, turning the home, in effect, into an artists’ colony he calls “The House Beautiful.” Discreet peepholes and B.K.’s penchant for snooping allow him to keep tabs on his lodgers; some find success, others founder, and interpersonal relationships are frequently tense. The balance of the house changes with the arrival of Adrian Malloy, a poet from the Midwest whose good looks make him the unwitting object of B.K.’s lust. The novel’s main dramatic thrust hinges on Adrian’s story—essentially the tale of a young man’s creative awakening in the big city—and on the gradual disclosure of his past, which bears surprising connections with B.K.’s own. Though B.K. is exquisitely realized, his narcissism short-changes secondary characters. However, lively prose and gonzo humor pick up the slack. (Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.)