A gay man escapes the cult of Reverend Sun Myung Moon after ten years and becomes a successful movie distributor in Hollywood. But the deep self-loathing that brought him to the Reverend Moon’s congregation leads him down a dark path of drugs and broken relationships until one final, traumatic moment defines whether he will live or die. A profound journey of self-discovery and acceptance, William Poe’s latest novel is a probing look into the darker reaches of the human psyche. Simon Powell has spent ten years of his life as a member of the cult of Reverend Moon. Unfulfilled, he breaks free of the Unification Church and returns home to Arkansas only to be rocked by the death of his father. In desperate need of feeling grounded, he ventures to Hollywood and reconnects with a former lover and the lawyers he once hired to defend Reverend Moon on income tax evasion charges. Before long, however, he splits with his lover and embarks on an unending series of soulless, drug-filled nights and broken relationships. Just as his money is running out, however, he gets an interview that just might get his life back on track. Quickly becoming a successful movie distributor, Simon’s drug problem merely spirals into the dark abyss. Cocaine gives way to crack as he spends money faster than he can make it to feed his drug and sex habit. But they both fail to fill the void deep inside and his life careens hopelessly out of control. Finally convinced to enter rehab, the continued abuse for being gay drives him towards one final, desperate decision that will leave his life hanging in the balance. Exploring the struggle of reintegration into society of a gay man after years of self-denial and repression, Poe’s newest is a fascinating portrait of cultism, drugs, the Hollywood gay scene, and the motion picture industry. A masterpiece full of an aching longing and desperation, Simon Says is a troubling, provocative, and ultimately triumphant look into addiction, recovery, and our need to be loved.
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