A Review by Peter O’ Neill
With the current debate about homophobia raging about us upon this rock of an island, the moment would appear opportune to review this gay coming of age novel, by the American poet, novelist and Editor Adam Henry Carriére.
The first thing that struck me, within reading the very first few pages, was that, as a supposedly transfixed heterosexual male, I was very aware of entering into the great human lineage of story- telling which is as old as Petronius, and as new as Gore Vidal. But, I could just as easily have mentioned Plato and his Symposium, where Ganymede and Zeus, Polyphemus and Silenus, in the guise of Alcibiades and Socrates, enact their satyr play.
And the more I read from these pages, offering up visions of carefully constructed depictions of ‘alternate’ masculinities, I was reminded again of Jean Genet, and William Burroughs. All of the great literature which I had grown up with in the eighties, another time of austerity, fiscal and moral (how often the two seem to go hand in hand!), a time of downturns, recession, immigration, racial- religious and sexual intolerance! We, the human race, once more caught up in the great Viconean wheels of upended fortune.
And, I was reminded of the great emotive speech given by the drag queen Rory O’ Neill ( Panti Bliss), who happened to get caught up in the crossfire of the last few weeks in this country, concerning the term homophobia. And, the more I read Henry’s book, where Ian Fleming sits easily with Joseph Roth, the more I was glad to be reminded, through the characters of Bartholomew and Hi, of the Tyrannicides, Harmodius and Aristogeiton, who over two and a half thousand years ago, in ancient Greece, fought, as a minority group, for their democratic and storm tossed love.
Love is love is love is love is love.
Yeah Henry, write on!