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Joined 8 months ago

Live in Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland, Aotearoa/NZ.

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Sebastian Barry: Days Without End (2017, Viking) 4 stars

Winner of the 2016 Costa Book of the Year and longlisted for the 2017 Man …

Review of 'Days Without End' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Well, I enjoyed the writing very much - very finely crafted for the age the novel is set. The historical fiction was brutal and at times I didn't want to press on further. The gay love story is understated and drawn in outline really, but it works for the kind of novel this is.
At one point towards the end, one character wonders "Am I American?", which prompted me to think about the book as a kind of exploration in the making of America, seen through the various characters - how the landscape shapes character, and how interactions with First Nations unfold on, what we now know, is a miserable and desiccated understanding. There's a bit to unpack in the novel.

Mike Seabrook: Full Circle (Paperback, 1997, Gay Men's Press) 2 stars

Review of 'Full Circle' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

An interesting introduction to gay relationships in POW camps, although this one was NOT between prisoners, but between a prisoner and a guard. It serves as a useful thought-piece about how gay men fared in POW camps during the War - the circumspect nature of any relationships, and the constant threat of being denounced.

Unfortunately the author chose the classic ending for the romance - the lovers fearful of their feelings, deny them and chose to spend the forty or so years post-war apart - writing pained letters to each other - so the actual relationship (which could have happened) is denied - the gay men will never be in a relationship ending. Sigh. I thought we had moved past this, even in 1997, when the book was published.