The Perils of Praline, or the Amorous Adventures of a Southern Gentleman in Hollywood

Gay & Lesbian, Humor, Romance

By Marshall Thornton

Publisher : MLR Press

The Perils of Praline, or the Amorous Adventures of a Southern Gentleman in Hollywood

ABOUT Marshall Thornton

Marshall Thornton
Marshall Thornton is an award-winning screenwriter, playwright and author living in Long Beach, California. He has an MFA in screenwriting from UCLA where he won the Carl David Memorial Fellowship for his romantic-comedy, Husband Material, as well as a BA in Creative Writing from Calif More...


When he falls in love with a contestant on a reality TV show, Peter “Praline” Palmetier decides to leave his home in rural Georgia and, failing to realize this might be considered stalking, travels to Hollywood to find his soul mate, Dave G. Once in Tinseltown he meets a collection of startling, and often horny, characters in his quest. They include a studly steward, a conservative talk show host, the Godfather of the Gay Mafia, and casting assistant Jason Friedman, who always manages to be there in time to save Praline from total disaster. Will Praline find love with the illusive Dave G., or will he recognize the charms of appealing but untelegenic Jason?
From Kassa at Three Dollar Bill Reviews...

Meet Praline Palmetier. He’s just moved to California to follow his dream of becoming a same sex celebrity spouse and though he’s never met his soon to be husband, he’s already in love. Praline’s watched every episode of House Bound 6 and is desperately in love with Dave G. He’s determined to find the man of his dreams and he doesn’t let little things like becoming a prostitute, arson, bad safe words, attempted suicide, or a mother selling pot stand in his way. Praline’s certain the world will simply work out for him and amazingly enough, it always does.

Upon reading the first chapter of screenwriter and author Marshall Thornton’s newest offering, I knew this would be a humorous, outrageous trip. The story is definitely over the top, ridiculous, and meant to follow an alternate but familiar reality. There is no end of recognizable personalities and references from the initial Big Brother show, House Bound, to the various characters Praline meets and inevitably has sex with. This sly story is told tongue in cheek but with a great sense of comic timing and humor. You simply can’t take this story seriously but instead go into it wanting to laugh and willing to go where Praline and his over the top antics take you.

The story follows the intrepid hero from his decision to move to California and the following few days as he goes from innocent to pretty debauched. It’s very much a story told to the reader with sly winks from the narrator. It’s meant to be a narrative that you read rather than necessarily experience so this may not be a style that appeals to all readers. If you don’t mind being told a story and like an outrageous, laugh out loud romp, this should work for you. The narration is third person, past tense and filled with tons of humor. There are numerous laugh out loud moments and of course Praline gets into every conceivable situation from prostitution to media fame, gay bashing, and even hostage at gun point. He always manages to find some way out of trouble but you know that going in.

The pace is incredibly quick and the 200 pages flew by. The writing is very witty with enough laughs that keep you interested but the outrageous antics are always tempered by more moderate action and quick dialogue. Praline shines as an innocent, respectful Georgia boy who was taught the ten commandments from his pot growing mother who drills into him that lying is only ok if it’s to a cop, never use your real social security number, and always be polite to the man that sticks his tongue in your butt.  Praline ends up having sex with nearly everyone in the book – after all it’s only polite to agree when asked. In fact the first real friend Praline makes refuses to have sex with him, leaving Praline to assume he’s at best a frenemy.

An example of the over the top writing and dialogue is below:

“No, I mean you like me?”

“I’ve only known you for one day,” Jason said. “Besides, aren’t you in love with someone?”

Praline didn’t see what that had to do with anything. “Well, yes, I am. But Dave G. and I don’t have an exclusive relationship. So, if you wanted to…”

Certainly after he and Dave G got married, bought that little house, furnished it, got their dogs, and who knows, maybe after a lot of talking and some parenting classes adopted a little Chinese girl, at that point perhaps Praline ought to settle down. But all that was a long way—

“Of course you don’t have an exclusive relationship. You’ve never met!” Jason screamed.

“Could you not yell at me?” Praline asked. “It’s been a really trying day.”

If you can take the story at face value for the entertainment and enjoyment, then Perils of Praline scores pretty high. It’s fun, humorous, and a wild romp with outrageous characters and ridiculous actions but that’s what makes it so absorbing and engaging. It’s a crazy whirlwind that is only eclipsed by the next even more ludicrous antic. Sit back and enjoy the humor without thinking too closely at the reasons.