Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cover to Cover: Gay Novels

A couple weeks ago NYC blogger, journalist and author, Matthew Rettenmund (boyculture.com), put together a list of gay novels he liked. He said his list was not intended to be a definitive list, just the one he liked. With his list, he included the first and last sentences of the novel.

The list is quite extensive. Of the 120 novels he showcased, I have read the following 23 of them:
Hold Tight (1988), Father of Frankenstein (1995), Gossip (1997) by Christopher Bram
Dancer from the Dance (1978) by Andrew Holleran
Faggots (1978) by Larry Kramer
The Lost Language of Cranes (1986), While England Sleeps (1993) by David Leavitt
The Men from the Boys (1997) by William Mann
Tales of the City (1978), More Tales of the City (1980), Further Tales of the City (1982), Babycakes (1984), Significant Others (1987), Sure of You (1989), Maybe the Moon (1992), The Night Listener (2000), Michael Tolliver Lives (2007), Mary Ann in Autumn (2010) by Armistead Maupin
Band Fags! (2008), Drama Queers! (2009) by Frank Anthony Polito
Interview with the Vampire (1976) by Anne Rice
Myra Breckinridge (1968) by Gore Vidal
The Front Runner (1974) Patricia Nell Warren

However, I have a number of them on my bookshelf or list to read. They include:
Giovanni's Room (1956) by James Baldwin
Surprising Myself (1987) by Christopher Bram
Flesh and Blood (1995), The Hours (1998) by Michael Cunningham
Maurice (1913/1971) by E.M. Forster
Nights in Aruba (1983), Grief (2006) by Andrew Holleran
A Single Man (1964) by Christopher Isherwood
Purgatory (2012) by Jeff Mann
The Days of Anna Madrigal (2014) by Armistead Maupin
How Long Has This Been Going On? (1995) by Ethan Mordden
At Swim, Two Boys (2003) by Jamie O'Neill
The Charioteer (1953), The Persian Boy (1972) by Mary Renault
Boy Culture (1995), Blind Items: A (Love) Story (1998) by Matthew Rettenmund
The World of Normal Boys (2000) by K.M. Soehnlein
The Story of the Night (1996) by Colm Tóibín
The City and the Pillar (1948), Myron (1974) by Gore Vidal
Harlan's Race (1994), Billy's Boy (1997) by Patricia Nell Warren
Nocturnes for the King of Naples (1978), A Boy's Own Story (1982), The Beautiful Room Is Empty (1988), The Farewell Symphony (1997), The Married Man (2000) by Edmund White

Alan Hollinghurst is one author I hadn’t heard of before but am now intrigued to learn more about.  Two of his novels are: The Folding Star (1994), The Line of Beauty (2004).

One author Matthew doesn’t include is Michael Thomas Ford. We have enjoyed a number of his novels. His work has been nominated for eleven Lambda Literary Awards. He has authored over 50 adult and young adult books. The ones we have read are: Last Summer (2003), Looking For It (2005), Full Circle (2005), Changing Tides (2008), The Road Home (2011).

Last Summer (2003)
FIRST “I could just go back.”
LAST “Josh looked at him for a moment, then leaned in and kissed him. ‘Yes,’ he said when the parted. ‘I did.’”

Looking For It (2005)
FIRST “Another fireman. That makes five.”
LAST “Mike lay his head on Thomas’s shoulder, nuzzling his neck. ‘And some of us are lucky enough to find it,’ he said.”

Full Circle (2005)
FIRST “Ned, it’s Jack.”
LAST “And although some will doubtless be disappointed when no clear answer arises to give them comfort, those who look carefully will find that I the search – in the questioning and wondering and raging – there is beauty beyond reckoning.”

Changing Tides (2007)
FIRST “As Ben Ransome descended through the water, he had the feeling, as he always did, that he was entering a cathedral.”
LAST “Knowing this, he opened his eyes and looked into the strong, bright face of his future.”

The Road Home (2010)
FIRST “Burke couldn’t remember the rest. It was something about peace and singing.”
LAST “’I am home,’ he said.”

Bonus: The cover artist on most of his books published by Kensington Books was the renowned Canadian gay artist Steve Walker.


Frank said...

Thanks for this posting. Reminds me that I have to pick up the book I started reading on the plane a few weeks ago: "Jack Holmes and His Friend: by Edmund White.

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