SMASH CUT by Brad Gooch

Smash CutI like to say, “rumor has it, I spent my early 20’s in New York City in the 1980s.” OMG! It was completely out of control! Let’s face it, those of us who were there and partook of the fruit that was Manhattan have only the Lord above to thank for still walking this earth. I certainly didn’t indulge like Mr. Brad Gooch, but I hung out pretty close to the players with Eddie Mapplethorpe, Robert’s little brother, and we got to spend a lot of time in the inner circles at gallery openings and after hour parties.

Brad Gooch lived in New York City in the 1970s and 1980s when there were no cellphones, you had to drop a dime in the phone booth to make a call, there were no hookup sites, there bars, no clubs, but there were warehouses, freight elevators and cellars. New York City was all about partying, celebrities and making art and music. SMASH CUT(HARPER/HarperCollins) is his memoir.

SMASH CUT captures Gooch’s intimate relationship with film director, Howard Brookner. Through a haze of sex and drugs, Gooch pieces together memories of their years together, apart and back again through to the end in 1989. It includes a cast of celebrities, up and coming artists, including Robert Mapplethorpe and Andy Warhol, William Burroughs and Madonna.

It’s not an easy read. Brookner falls ill with a mysterious virus called AIDS which turns into a pandemic and rips through the Gay community. Gooch writes of the merciless progress of his lover’s illness and their heartbreaking suffering.

“Rarely does something that big happen in life. We didn’t really have any conception of it. It seemed like science fiction, but it was happening.” Brad Gooch, 2015

Three years ago, Brad Gooch moved back to New York City and he tells the story of walking past the Chelsea Hotel, where he once lived with Howard Brookner. He started having flashbacks because the area has changed so drastically from when they lived there. That’s how he came up with the title, SMASH CUT for his memoir. The idea of a jump cut in film, or smash cut from that time to the present.

SMASH CUT is a lot of interesting mini-stories flowing together, but at its heart, I believe it’s a love story and a beautifully written one.

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Brad GoochAbout Brad Gooch

Brad Gooch is the author of the acclaimed biographies City Poet and Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor, as well as other nonfiction and three novels. The recipient of National Endowment for the Humanities and Guggenheim fellowships, he earned his Ph.D. at Columbia University and is professor of English at William Paterson University in New Jersey. He lives in New York City.

Find out more about Brad at his website.

Thanks to TLC Book Tours and Harper/HarperCollins for providing a copy of SMASH CUT for an honest review.

You can check out for more of my reviews and news about my novel, “Viewer Discretion Advised.”

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2 thoughts on “SMASH CUT by Brad Gooch

  1. Your review captured my attention. The biography sounds compelling and even more interesting that it is set in the artsy party scene of NYC in the 70’s and 80’s!

    Liked by 1 person

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