October 31st, 2010

Read this excerpt from new novel “33” by J.J.South and win!

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  • ‘Giovanni’s Room’ by James Baldwin may not figure on everyone’s list but it was the first gay novel I ever came across. As a hetero lad fresh out of nine years of Catholic boarding school, the book’s empathy and insights clearly told me that the social and religious views I had been fed were even more heartless and spiritually bankrupt than I had already judged them to be. It was a significant turning point in my sloughing off the homophobic messages I had received from Church, family and peers.

    By : Francis Lionnet : on Wednesday, 03rd November 2010
  • I loved the Swimming Pool Library by Alan Hollingshurst. And hated it at the same time. Like many bonds formed in life, and in the book, it was indeed a love-hate relationship. The novel explores gay life in London as lived by William Beckwith, an idle, promiscuous and privileged young aristocrat and Lord Charles Nantwich, an old grandee once jailed for being a homosexual. The main relationships reflect the lingering class differences of British society, the sexually obsessive one between William and his working class black lover, Arthur, contrasting with the dark master-servant relationship between Nantwich and his butler Lewis. Note the echoes of “The Servant”, the legendary Dirk Bogarde movie. And it’s in these liaisons, almost all between the privileged and the deprived, that the novel traps itself in a rut. Too many archetypes and to few recognisably real people spring from the author’s all too evident snobbisme. In summary, it’s well written but hollow. Yet, somehow still a favourite.

    By : Simon Ashton : on Thursday, 04th November 2010
  • My favourite gay novel.  ‘Funny Boy’. Author: Shyam Selvadurai.
    Set against the background of interethnic violence between the majority Sinhalese and the rich elite of the Tamils which erupted in Sri Lanka thirty years ago , ‘Funny Boy’ centres on a teenager Arjie Chelvaratnam struggling to come to terms both with what is happening to his country and what is stirring in his loins. The novel skilfully mixes humour and tragedy as the young Tamil boy who narrates the story goes through the experience of his first love and first sex which not only is with a boy but one from the Sinhalese community - and therefore doubly forbidden. 

    By : Norman Hart : on Thursday, 11th November 2010
  • I love the “Lucia” series of books by E. F. Benson (“Mapp and Lucia” is probably the best of the series). They feature a range of eccentric characters including “Quaint Irene” and her faithful maid, and Georgie Pillson, a gay man who loves nothing better than polishing his bibelots. The books are a wonderfully funny view of middle class society in a small town in the early 20th century England told from a gay perspective.

    By : David Grainger : on Saturday, 20th November 2010
  • I was surprised how erotic I found the excerpt because whilst nothing actually happened, the sexual tension that was built up , admittedly using my own vivid imagination , was quite extraordinary . It definately made me want to read on and see which of the many scenarious that was building up in my own mind, cam to fruition .

    By : Laurence : on Saturday, 20th November 2010
  • Well my favourite novel isn’t really a novel - but the Collected Poems of WH Auden. I know, I know…all high brow and that; but give it a go. There’s some beautiful poetry in there which, while not quite erotic, will surely stir up some deep feelings with the tension and sheer pain of desire! Here’s an exerpt from Lay your sleeping head, my love:

    Lay your sleeping head, my love
    Human on my faithless arm;
    Time and fevers burn away
    Individual beauty from
    Thoughtful children, and the grave
    Proves the child ephermeral:
    But in my arms till break of day
    Let the living creature lie,
    Mortal, guilty, but to me
    The entirely beautiful.

    There are many gay poets from this era - worth checking out.

    By : Scottydog : on Wednesday, 24th November 2010
  • The competition is now closed, though we’ll happily receive more reviews from any new contributors. Winners, Scottydog, David Grainger, Laurence, Norman Hart and Francis Lionnet will receive their free downloads in the next few days. Congratulations, guys, and happy reading of 33. Editor.

    By : Michael : on Thursday, 25th November 2010

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