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TOP 5 Gay Books (Fiction) – October
BARRACUDA By Christos Tsiolkas
Teenager Danny Kelly is poised for greatness as a swimmer. He has the killer instinct in the pool, but unfortunately, he doesn’t confine that impulse there. He is a wild man, a barracuda. What happens when disaster derails his dreams? This is Christos Tsiolkas’s first novel since the international success of The Slap and fans won’t be disappointed. The main character Danny is gay; Tsiolkas’s political sensibilities shine through; yet he has also delivered a big, highly readable novel for summer.
TWO BOYS KISSING By David Levithan
Seventeen-year-olds Craig and Harry are trying to set a new Guinness World Record for kissing. Around them, Ryan and Avery are falling in love; Neil and Peter are having issues; while closeted Cooper can see no future for himself. This new novel for teens (but sophisticated enough for all ages) presents a panorama of gay male youth today, unfolding numerous storylines with a touching eloquence. But what elevates this novel into something extraordinary is an intriguing narrative device − a Greek chorus of ghosts, the generation lost to AIDS, who serve as narrator.
THE ROAD BETWEEN US By Nigel Farndale
June 1939: two young men meet for a clandestine liaison in a Piccadilly hotel room, only to be interrupted and arrested by military police. Charles, an English RAF officer, is dishonourably discharged. But his lover Anselm, a German art student, is deported back to Germany and ends up in a Nazi labour camp. Charles eventually overcomes his disgrace to some degree and becomes a war painter, but he never forgets Anselm and dreams of reuniting with him. A second narrative strand, set more than 70 years later, is gradually revealed to also connect to these characters and events from the war years.
THE HARDEST THING By James Lear
Dan Stagg is an ex-military man who is finding it very hard to adjust to civilian life. He’s jobless, when out of the blue, he’s offered a very well-paid protection job – looking after the young male ‘secretary’ of a powerful real estate developer. The young man is vain, shallow, but very attractive − and it’s quite clear that his idea of ‘protection’ includes sex. But Dan quickly realises that he’s being used as a shield for a much more sinister operation. This is a new sexy gay mystery as only James Lear can write it!
LONDON TRIPTYCH By Jonathan Kemp
Published back in 2010 by a small UK press, this acclaimed novel has been difficult to source in Australia, but its North American publication now makes it’s readily available. Jonathan Kemp skilfully interweaves the lives and loves of three very different men in gay London across the decades. 1890s: Jack apprentices as a rent boy and his new life of pleasure and excess leads to new friendships, most notably with Oscar Wilde. 1998: David arrived in the city in the mid-’80s and recounts his story of unashamed decadence from prison. 1950s: Colin tentatively explores his sexuality while working on his painting ‘London Triptych’.