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“South Beach: The Novel is one part fairy tale, one part travelogue, and one part X-tube porn video mixed with several tabs of Xtasy. Decadence has never seemed so sweet and innocent as it does in Brian Antoni’s lost world of deco and disco in pre-millennial Miami.”
– Jay McInerney
“Glamour and sex. Champagne and ecstasy. Finally, a South Beach diet I can stick to.”
– Mark Haskell Smith, author of Salty and Delicious
“Brian Antoni has written a fizzy and fantasy-filled new novel, South Beach. It’s just as wild and edgy and sexy as South Beach itself.”
– David Leddick, author of In the Spirit of Miami Beach
SOUTH BEACH: The Novel
by Brian Antoni
South beach- in the freewheeling, high energy ’90s, there was no place hotter to see and be seen. Its cafes and clubs rocking with the gods of international fashion and fame, Sobe was a hot bed of sizzling nightlife, sparkling beaches, abundant wealth, barely there attire, mansion envy, and misbehaving celebrities lounging in confetti-hued grandeur. “Miami Vice” wanna-bes flew in for the weekends and the tabloids splashed news of every decadent indulgence, drug-induced misstep, and fabulous revelry. Was there a soul in America whose attentions did not stray, even momentarily, to that exotic, glamorous, and wild stretch of Miami?
Now, in SOUTH BEACH: The Novel, (Black Cat, a paperback original imprint of Grove/Atlantic; March 2008; $13.00), Brian Antoni explores the hysterical and hallucinogenic highs and gutter-scraping lows of the surrealistic and outrageous South Beach of the nineties. Himself a pivotal player in the Miami enclave, Antoni reigns as South Beach’s de facto mayor, renown for his lavish restoration of an art deco property and the social soirees that have brought Cameron Diaz, Gianni Versace, Stephen King, Bianca Jagger, Candace Bushnell, Oliver Stone and more over to party.
A smart, sexy read, Antoni’s SOUTH BEACH unfolds through the eyes of newcomer Gabriel Tucker, a globe-trotting, trust fund-babied, 29 year old who suddenly finds himself penniless. Desperate to rebuild his life, Gabriel flees to the one thing he still owns, a decrepit apartment building, the Venus de Milo Arms. Embraced by a lip-synching transvestite, a Cuban raft-refugee supermodel, a flamboyant Italian designer, an adoring Jewish matron, and a street-wise gossip columnist, he struggles to reconstruct his life, as well as the falling down Venus. Gabriel draws strength and inspiration from an unlikely mix of AIDS patients, Holocaust survivors, assorted hedonists, blackmailing speculators, and aging retirees in his new community.
Inspired by the camaraderie of this crazed circle that has replaced his lost family, Gabriel finds himself uncharacteristically in love with a lithe young performance artist and vowing to save his newly beloved South Beach from rapacious developers. When his best friend and the woman he has come to love betray him, he is tempted by the maelstrom of nonstop sex and plentiful drugs that South Beach offers. Will Gabriel, like his town, emerge from decrepitude or was his vision of a new life just another SoBe ecstasy-induced dream?
A trip to the hospital with a tenant who had begged Gabriel to help in his assisted death leads off a series of events that changes Gabriel forever and determines his fate. His lifeline unfurls from an unexpected source and Gabriel lets go of the slacker lifestyle long enough to reach for a second chance. He discovers the long-buried mysteries of his family, and finds a soul he never imagined he had and a love he never dreamed he deserved.
Deftly blending the histories of his outrageous characters, and weaving in the renaissance of South Beach from slum to brand name destination, Antoni skillfully delivers a hilarious social commentary and an engaging story of redemption and renewal. Fast-paced, gossipy, and fun, SOUTH BEACH serves up insider dish and an old-fashioned love story on the same tropical pastel platter- a melange that readers will enjoy from start to finish.
About the Author:
Brian Antoni is th eauthor of the novel Paradise Overdose, called “one of the most powerful debuts to hit the bookshelves in a long time.” Anoni has written for InStyle, The Miami Herals, and Paper Magazine, and is a contributing writer for Ocean Drive magazine. He lives in South Beach, Florida.