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Found 5 results

  1. The hard-bitten American PI, working on his own to solve a murder, has become such a staple of crime fiction that it is now a cliché and has been parodied more times than I can even begin to count. There has to be something original to one to even make me think about reading it, and Marshall Thornton has found that something original with his Nick Nowak mystery series. Nowak is working as a one man PI, in 1981 Chicago, when these stories start, but he enters these three novellas with his own baggage. His life has recently been turned upside down. Novak was walking home with his lover Daniel when they were queerbashed. This leads to him being outed at work, as a Chicago cop, and losing his job, being ostracised by his own family, a lot of whom are also Chicago cops, and his relationship with Daniel ending. This all happens before the first novella even starts. Marshall Thornton has created three interesting mysteries for Nowak to solve. The first is a missing person that is anything but straightforward. Then there is an arson attack that has a shocking path. Finally, there is an apparent suicide that is anything but. These three stories are very rooted in gay Chicago of the 1980s. As engaging as these mysteries are, the real enjoyment here is Nick Nowak’s own life and his navigation of the unfriendly world of the 1980s, especially if you were gay. Nowak is an engaging narrator, someone whose voice makes these stories fresh, but Marshall Thornton has created a supporting cast of characters who are just as interesting and engaging. Nowak’s world isn’t unrelentingly negative; there is joy and friendship here and sex. Nowak has no problem finding other men to enjoy his sexuality with. The Nick Nowak books are much more than hard-bitten PI stories; they are the chronicle of a man’s life and his relationships. They are also wonderfully evocative of 1980s gay life. Marshall Thornton should be applauded for this; these are very enjoyable and easy reads. So often crime stories can be guilty pleasures, but the Nick Nowak books are far better than that and should be enjoyed as such. But do read them in order, so many characters return in later books, providing different strains to the stories, and if you don’t know who they are it could be a difficult read. Find it here on Amazon
  2. David Leavitt’s strength has always been the drama he finds in ordinary people’s lives. Not for him the lives of the extraordinary, but his characters can so often feel like the most ordinary of people, yet the lives he finds behind their ordinariness are fascinating. This, his first novel, revolves around a cast of characters who are in flux in their lives, small changes that led to far greater ones. It is 1980s New York and Philip, a gay man in his early twenties, has fallen in love for the first time. In that flush of first love, he decides to come out to his middle-class parents. His parents are facing eviction from their home as their building goes co-op, but Philip’s coming out releases far more than the expected results in his parents. His mother is dissatisfied with her life and marriage, his father has been hiding his homosexuality for decades, with grabbed encounters in gay porn theatres. Many novelists would have concentrated on the three central characters here, but what lifts this novel up from just a domestic drama about homosexuality in ’80s New York is the depth Leavitt puts into his supporting cast of characters. Philip’s boyfriend Elliot, Philip’s friend Brad and Jerene, Elliot’s lesbian flat mate, all get the character development that some authors would only reserve for their main characters. Married to this character development is an interesting plot that carries its characters along with it, coming out of their needs and actions, but it does not run smoothly and comfortably; characters behave well or poorly in the space of their own story arcs, there are no heroes or villains here, just flawed people. This is a remarkable first novel. It is written in an assured and yet open style, but it also made me want to read more and more. I first read it when it was originally published and was swept away by its plot and insight; so much of it spoke about my life at the time, the state of my own relationships then. Rereading it recently, I found it just as insightful in its view of human relationships. I also found it fascinating in its portrayal of life in the 1980s, a life before the internet and smartphones and apps. But most remarkable of all is still that this is a first novel. Find it here on Amazon Drew
  3. I will start by saying that I am, at least, a voracious reader. I do not watch TV, except for the weather occasionally. I much prefer the radio on in the background and a good book. The problem is, that I cannot seem to find a good selection (and variety) of quality gay fiction that isn't just total porn. Not that I'm opposed to porn - not at all. But, for example, right now I have 3 books on Kindle, several stories here and on other sites and two print books that I am reading. I need more options, and google and Amazon are pretty much all porn, all the time when it comes to anything at related. Does anyone have any alternatives or any idea where to find new reading material?
  4. The last chapter to my story Winterblade has been submitted, and I thought it would be good to open a discussion topic in case anyone is interested in reading it. The story is a mixture of fantasy, science fiction and erotica with two male protagonists. It deals with the conflict that arises when warriors of opposing armies get to know each other not only as the enemy, but as people being worthy of respect or even love. Any questions are welcome, and feedback is greatly appreciated! Thanks! Read it here: https://www.gayauthors.org/story/albertnothlit/winterblade
  5. Welcome! This is the discussion thread for The Art Of Being Gay. This story is based on two character sketches I wrote due to prompts. I'm doing something new to me. I've always developed a plot line and ending for my stories. This one is completely open and without an outline of any kind. I'm walking the tightrope without a net. I have ideas, images, and icons that have helped shape our identity. But I'm not sure where they will take Roy and Chad. Anyway, if you have suggestions or critiques, please share. I'm quite open to any help navigating and surveying these characters' pathway. Thanks for joining me on a journey into the unknown. The first two chapters have setup the scenario. And away we go! Cole
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