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  1. Summerabbacat

    Chapter 41

    Like @Okiegrad, I am intrigued as to the content of the discussion between Nathan and his father. It appears Nathan's father is pressuring him to reveal something to Jason, which he Nathan, is very reluctant to reveal fearing it will hurt Jason. This "fired up" my imagination such that, in conjunction with the story title, I am speculating that Jason and Nathan may be fraternal twins. If we examine the facts as known, this may not be such a fanciful speculation. Nathan was born the day after Jason in the same town. Jason is adopted. Jason may have been born just prior to midnight one day and Nathan just after midnight the next day. If the boys are fraternal twins it could account for the lasting friendship between their fathers. Nathan's father has been presented as someone who is very status conscious; someone who would not usually mix with the likes of Jason's father, who is working-class. A familial connection between Nathan and Jason may also explain why Nathan states he "can't" be with Jason rather than he does not "want" to be with Jason. I am still inclined to believe Nathan is gay and attracted to Jason, so why the hesitation to form a relationship which involves sex. The only "flaw" in this speculation is I find it hard to reconcile deception on the part of Jason's parents. Perhaps my mind has run amok, much like Jason's behaviour in the last few chapters. @drsawzallcomments were as usual highly amusing.
  2. Summerabbacat

    The Fixer

    'Mary' Jared's nickname brought back many memories. I used to have a 'Muscle Mary' T-shirt many years ago which I wore with pride. Even my mother called me Mary occasionally, back when I was younger, fitter and more muscular. And, 'Chunder', what a great nickname. One can only imagine how he came to be named so. Very clever writing to have Jared meet 'The Fixer' in Hyde Park. The irony of the meeting place as noted by Jared was a stroke of genius @Wombat Bill. It strikes me that it is not coincidental the buildings mentioned are close to each other, particularly when one considers their purpose and how long ago they were built. I share @chris191070wonderment as to how 'The Fixer' managed to arrange Brendan's death. “So we don’t just call ya Mary now, ya’re Mary and Joseph, all rolled inta one.” is one of your best one-liners for quite some time @Wombat Bill. For this line alone I had to rate the chapter with a 'ha ha' emoticon. It may not seem appropriate given the close of the chapter, but the close to the chapter opened CWB book 3 and much sadness has taken place since then. I was determined to only make a light-hearted critique of this chapter.
  3. Summerabbacat

    Sperm Donors

    Brilliant, superbly written chapter. Alex shows suprising maturity in reaching the decision he does not need to know his father. His analysis of the situation and the logic he applied was very impressive. His affection for his brother a joy to behold, genuine and complete. A wonderful, feel good chapter @Wombat Bill. After having spent the past 12 hours consumed with melancholy, nostalgia, but ultimately great joy in repeatedly viewing the "videos" for the two new ABBA tracks, I Still Have Faith In You and Don't Shut Me Down, a visit with old friends at CWB was just like a visit from ABBA. Totally joyous and enriching.
  4. Summerabbacat


    A very interesting and revelatory chapter @Wombat Bill. I am surprised, and frankly very disappointed, that neither Alex nor James have been informed of the method of their conception. Whilst I strongly disagree that children MUST have a parent of each gender, I do think Julia and Hannah have been very remiss in not discussing this with the boys. It has only just occurred to me when reading this chapter that Julia finally got to meet her son, only to lose him within a short space of time. I never gave her loss any consideration at all @Wombat Bill. Justin's disclosure came as no surprise at all. I made the comment many times in the past I thought he felt "undervalued" by Craig in their business relationship. This always annoyed me about Craig as I also recall saying on a number of occasions. I think it is testament to Justin's character he made the statement "He’s so confident in himself he doesn’t see that not everybody is like that.” Apart from his relationship with his father, Justin is a forgiving and conciliatory character, admirable qualities I aspire to have to a greater degree. I look forward to comments from @ReaderPaul, @chris191070and @NimirRajif and when he joins us again.
  5. @chris191070and @ReaderPaulI have no such qualms about bulldozing my way in with comments on Jared's viewpoint on the war in Afghanistan. I happen to agree with him; we should never have been there, just as we should never have been in Iraq or Vietnam. Whilst I despair for the animals in nations without democratically elected governments (just as I do for animals in nations with democratically elected governments), I find it difficult to care much about the human population (except for those in nations under religious rule who are persecuted eg. women and LGBTQI residents). Jared scored many brownie points with his comments regarding war, particularly his criticism of the media, barristers and politicians; and, his sensitivity to those most affected by their participation in war. Did he perhaps hint at what troubled him regarding his participation in the SAS? Unfortunately, he lost most of these brownie points with his unwarranted attack on Hannah. Whilst I agree with him that the boys have apparently been unfairly denied the choice of knowing their father(s), I strongly disagree with his belief that somehow their life is incomplete or less because of this and the lack of male role models. Complete bullshit Jared. And, as pointed out by @ReaderPaul, Jared has assumed, with limited knowledge of the boys lives, that they have not had positive male role models. I also strongly resented Jared's assertion that vegetarians, vegans and pescatarians adopt such a diet because it is trendy fad. Complete bullshit again Jared. The catalyst for the adoption of such diets I daresay varies from person to person, but I believe people generally adopt such a diet for ethical or health reasons, or because they simply do not like the taste of meat. I have transitioned to a vegetarian diet over many years. I have not eaten red meat for 36 years, poultry for about 8 years and fish this year. I would very much like to be a vegan, but have not been able to find a pleasing non-dairy substitute for cheese (my one big food weakness in life). I stopped eating red meat because I did not like the taste and hated that the animals were killed for my consumption (I went on a school excursion to the local abattoir at the age of 11, it was fucking disgusting and violent). I stopped eating poultry and fish because I think killing animals is wrong. I have over the years been ridiculed for my stance by meat eaters, although this only occurs on the rarest of occasions now. I will acknowledge that some vegans I have known have taken it to an extreme, even forcing their pets to become vegan. This is not healthy for cats for example. @Wombat BillI love these thought-provoking, challenging and potentially divisive chapters. I find myself occasionally having a reaction I did not expect, something which I am very grateful to you for. It comforts me to know I am still capable of rational thoughts from time to time and, that I am not completely predictable. I will likely ruffle a few feathers with my comments. I tried, admittedly not very hard, to be more diplomatic like @chris191070 (a very admirable quality, which I am almost completely devoid of), but I just could not resist putting in my "two bobs worth". I am far more like Jared than I care to admit, with strong opinions on things I care about and find it difficult to compromise on eg. organised religion and animal rights. I am at least not at an expert on everything like some people (a la Germaine Greer).
  6. Too funny @Wombat Bill, and like @ReaderPaul questioned, do the boys have the same father? I did not have to wait long for the revelation that James is gay, or at least thinks he is. The AbFab references strongly suggest he well may be. He seems very self-aware, with a healthy dose of self-deprecation. I like him. His brother Alex, mmmm I am not sure about him yet (and not because he is straight). He is perhaps a product of his raging heterosexual hormones at present, a cocky and supercilious little prick.
  7. No doubt my fellow CWB groupies have heard the phrase "you know what they say about assuming". I daresay it was never stated @Wombat Bill, but I assumed, quite wrongly it would seem, Alex and James had one parent in common. Their relationship with their mothers does seem to have nurtured some familial similarities at the very least. James does not seem to have a filter (a bit like me at times). This could land him in hot water at times (as it has me). Was his interrogation of Jared and his sexual predilection motivated by curiosity, vindictiveness or could he perhaps be wondering about his own sexuality. Perhaps @Wombat Bill shall reveal more at a late date, or perhaps our resident soothsayer, @ReaderPaul, may be able to shed some light. I am usually one who appreciates a lengthier chapter, but much to my surprise, I am enjoying these shorter chapters almost as much @Wombat Bill.
  8. I am sorry lads (@Wombat Bill, @ReaderPaul, @chris191070and @NimirRaj) I was determined to kick off my comments on the CWB vignettes on a happy note (I am trying @Wombat Bill), but the image of Jared weeping when told of the circumstances of his conception, made me "lose it", hence the sad emoticon (is that the right word @ReaderPaul?) Given how much I had "gone off" Jared by the end of CWB Book 3, it surprised me. I have softened in my dislike of him, and in hindsight (ain't it a wonderful thing, as is commonly stated), I was perhaps too harsh in my judgment of him. It also struck me (with some force too) that his life was tragically cut short, denying him the opportunity to face his demons head on and kick them to the kerb. A wasted opportunity for a happier life perhaps.
  9. Summerabbacat

    Chapter 39

    Progress, of sorts, in their relationship. The ball is now in Nathan's court to reveal his own secret, if in fact, his being gay is the "secret" many of us have been yearning to hear. Alcohol and Jason do not seem to mix well. I remember well being his age and drinking (and smoking, how gross) and going to the gym. What a stupid combination, but then one thinks one is invincible at that age. @FilzmoosI do hope you are not going to disappoint your readers with any revelation other than that Nathan feels the same way about Jason as Jason does about him. I am not sure what the "different love" will be in such circumstances, but that is the beauty of surprise (I hope). Another riveting chapter.
  10. Summerabbacat

    Chapter 8

    Sadly, I believe Belle will not survive. I have heard of pets, especially cats, visiting those in hospital whose death is drawing near. The comfort Felicia will provide may help Belle to accept the inevitable. Another enjoyable, although sad chapter @FrankD, made all the more appealing to me with the appearance of Felicia. I hope Belle is able to sort out who will care for her children, likely Hunter and Dale, before her passing.
  11. I did not think the author @Wombat Bill could possibly improve upon Book 1 or Book 2, but improve he has. Much like the characters themselves, his writing has evolved to an extent where a single word or phrase can evoke a multitude of powerful emotions (much like "one look" from Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard). There are some profoundly sad and moving storylines, but fear not, he has not lost his wicked sense of humour. There are many hilarious moments to entertain even the most melancholic reader. He also incorporates some real life events, such as the horrendous bushfires in Australia in late 2019 early 2020, which further enhance the experience for any reader of this marvellously crafted work. Special mention must be made of his most wonderfully realised creation, the at times, enigmatic Edward (aka Ed Wiener). He/she, like Anna Madrigal, has a very special place in this reader's heart.
  12. Summerabbacat


    Amidst the bleak, Virginia's kindness stood out. She has certainly evolved tremendously in this book. Thank you @Wombat Bill for this spectacular, life-affirming story; and my fellow CWB groupies @ReaderPaul, @chris191070and @NimirRajfor your entertaining and at times, thought provoking comments. You have all been of great comfort to me in the past three months, the "lowest" period in my life to date.
  13. @Wombat Bill I have waited with great patience (so unlike me) to read this chapter and the epilogue in celebration of a happy feline-related event, the return home of my beloved Kiki. She has returned and her procedure appears to have been successful, much like this wonderful chapter. I think many of our fellow Australian's have been imbibing a "quarantini" or twenty since the start of the virus. Alcohol sales have skyrocketed in a country already renowned for its love of a drink. I would love to know the ingredients of a "quarantini". Whatever the ingredients, it must include pineapple juice (we have pineapple on pizza after all). I loved Ed Wiener's story about her shopping attire. I went grocery shopping today (the highlight of the week in lockdown) and was very annoyed at the number of people not wearing a mask. A can of mace or capsicum spray concealed in a Glomesh would have come in very handy. Ed Wiener's sad story of the grandmother rang true; so many people have experienced great loneliness during this pandemic. The number of suicides has risen too. China has more than economic catastrophe to answer for, but of course, it never will. The entertainment for the evening evoked wonderful images for this reader, apart from the sounding. I have seen it in porn videos and I cannot help thinking of the risk of infection. It was wonderful to read of Raj making an appearance; he has potential for character development I think. The finale was spectacular. I thought I was going to get away without shedding a tear in this chapter, but alas it was not to be. The re-appearance of Thomas was so apt and so moving. Thank you. I agree with my fellow CWB groupies @ReaderPaul, @chris191070and @NimirRaj in their frequent praise of this wonderful story. I look forward to the day @Wombat Bill when the cast make a return into our lives (much like the cast of Armistead's books).
  14. Summerabbacat

    Chapter 36

    I had also wondered this @Okiegradgiven the title of the story, but dismissed it as something too disappointing to contemplate. Hopefully Jason's conversation with Tom will give him at least a nudge in the right direction. Perhaps with further encouragement from Tom, Jason may emerge from "mousedom" into a man of candour and action (not likely I know).
  15. Summerabbacat

    Chapter 7

    Beautifully and sensitively written @FrankD. You have grown noticeably as a writer since the publication of Fourth Down. I hope your health and that of your boyfriend continues to improve. Looking forward to another chapter of this delightful story soon.
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