Books

ReadOut Shorts: February 2007

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Kevin, Split Screen, Lucifer Box and The Devil in Amber, BUTT BOOK,Homo Domesticus, and 69 Love Songs.

Kevin
Robert Greenwood

Self-published (www.abe.com or [email protected])
KevinIn Kevin, we have the quintessential romance novel. We watch a young gay man leave his Mormon home after a brutal beating, move to Las Vegas and become a nude dancer, find a patron who gives him a chance to chase his dreams, and finally find true love. This one is an endearing read, sweet but not cloying. — Review: Angel Curtis

Split Screen
Brent Hartinger

HarperCollins (www.harpercollinschildrens.com)
The author of Geography Club gives us another look at high-school life with Split Screen. The gimmick here is that it’s two books in one — you read the story from one person’s perspective, flip the book over, and read the same story from another’s perspective. Add to this young gay love, Soul-Sucking Brain Zombies, and the best writing of the season, and you get a great read for any dreary afternoon. — Review:Angel Curtis

The Devil in Amber
Mark Gatiss

Scribner (www.simonsays.com)
DevilinAmberMy favorite bad boy, Lucifer Box, is back! Follow the adventures of this omni-sexual secret agent/artist as he fights age, various bad guys, and the Prince of Darkness himself. Set in deco New York and rural England, this book has it all: intrigue, action, adventure, sex, and devilishly good writing. Impossible to put down, this one is everything a good detective novel should be. — Review: Angel Curtis

BUTT BOOK
Edited by Gert Jonkers and Jop van Bennekom

Taschen (www.taschen.com)
It’s a fairly safe bet that at least one person reading this would want a big fat pink book named BUTT displayed rather prominently somewhere in his home for those occasions when unwanted family members drop by unexpectedly to snoop. And so, probably not with that in mind, Taschen, publisher of fine books, has released BUTT BOOK , an anthology which celebrates BUTT magazine’s fifth anniversary by compiling some of the most “fantastic” and “ridiculous” interviews and photos from the publication’s first five years. Herein you’ll find such familiar names as Edmund White, Rufus Wainwright, John Waters, and Gun van Sant. You’ll also find some photos that confirm all the awful things those snoopy family members always suspected about your lifestyle. (BUTT magazine, incidentally, is published and printed in the Netherlands and is available worldwide.) — Review: Jack Varsi

DomesticusHomo Domesticus
David Valdes Greenwood
Da Capo Press (www.perseusbooksgroup.com/dacapo)
This personal account of a 10-year relationship promises to show us how two disparate people can overcome anything through love, commitment, and hard work. Instead, we get a well-written navel gazer that is boring, boring, and boring. Don’t bother with this one unless you are newly in love and wanting a hopeful fairy tale. — Review: Angel Curtis

69 Love Songs
LD Beghtol
Continuum (www.continuumbooks.com)
Maybe it’s too esoteric for this reviewer. Maybe it’s an inside Valentine joke between this gay author and his friends. Or maybe it’s just that 69 Love Songs really is little more than a self-indulgent look at the making of what the press release calls “Magnetic Field’s wildly popular, critically acclaimed 1999 triple-CD” (with lyrics by Stephin Merritt, who is also gay). It just happens that the author was a guest singer and designer on that album. The text begins with random words alphabetized in an index of sorts, preceded by a total word count of the book. And then Beghtol and friends analyze each of the aforementioned CD’s songs in lugubrious detail. See? You’re confused too, right? If, like this reviewer, you find that trying to understand the author’s point to not only 69 Love Songs but also to 33 1/3 (the series of short books about albums it is a part of), fret not. The book contains a crossword puzzle. So grab your pencil and enjoy! More: www.69lsbook.com. — Review: Nancy Ford

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