Thursday, 15 November 2018

Gravesend by William Boyle




Front CoverThis neo-noir, paints a grim, intense picture of a tight-knit community mired in destructive traditions.   Gravesend is a working-class, Italian, Catholic neighborhood steeped in a toxic culture of violence, hero worship and lack of alternatives.  A culture that traps its inhabitants and turns the American dream into a nightmare.

Ray Boy Calabrese returns to this neighbourhood having served a 16 year sentence for a gay-bashing incident that led to the death of Duncan.  Known in his teens for his bravado and defiance, Ray Boy is now a broken, remorseful man hoping for a revenge killing that will put him out of his misery.

Duncan’s younger brother, Conway, has stalled in life.  He still lives at home, works in a drug store and obsesses about revenge.  Alessandra, a childhood class-mate of Conway's, is an actress who had escaped to Los Angeles.  She gravitates back to the relentlessly destructive spiral of the neighbourhood, yet rails against the inherent expectations.   Eugene, Ray Boy’s younger nephew, idolizes the man his uncle once was and is determined to bring Ray Boy back to his glory days.

This is a story of revenge, penance, memory and legacy gone wrong.

-submitted by Karole-Anne