File Size: 2001 KB
Print Length: 320 pages
Publisher: Bruno Gmünder Verlag; 1 edition (January 21, 2016)
Publication Date: January 21, 2016
I enjoy various gay genres, including historicals, romance and secret; and I enjoyed this for those that and more. Kip Nolan captured well the tradition of gay pulp erotica, with a '50's Tinseltown setting and a dash of a secret thriller.
Nolan apparently produces under several names, yet this is the first of his I've read. Early on in this, a screenwriter said, "Research can be a real [pain]. " In this article, Nolan did his research and brought to life 50's Hollywood – in a "film noir" strengthen that depicted the times, settings, and people with the talk of the 50's Hollywood films, actors, studios, restaurants and other locations. It had that dark side of exploitation, corruption, and McCarthyism (with its “[gay slur]-commie hating” stirred by the HUAC and like-minded evangelists).
Yet Nolan also captured the glamor seen by fans, as well as the secret pool parties and back room shenanigans that Hollywood was known for. All the Hollywood adages were in play here – the casting couch, sleeping your way to the top, soprano, behind the scenes backstabbing and maneuvering, and the stereotypical legend of being discovered, in this case, right off the bus. Also i enjoyed the Peyton Place gossipy way of referring to all the stars and the name-dropping of guys we now know were on the down low.
Typically the story was told from a first-person POV of Rick, who acts more as a narrator when compared to a major character (think of Nick in "The Great Gatsby"). As a right studio fixer, he proved helpful to keep gay stars’ reputations safe, which also meant investigating a murder. The mystery part was decent, but regrettably it wasn’t a main emphasis. I was hoping it would have taken a beefier role in the storyline, as they say, with more complexity and twists. I actually also wanted a little more character development. Whilst I liked the pulp style, it sometimes surrounded on stereotyping the players, not providing more nuanced detail. There were some uncomfortable phrasings that made myself stumble a few times; and it played a bit too much into those stereotypical Hollywood legends.
Nevertheless, along those lines (pun intended), I was drawn in by the spotlight on the rising film profession of the newly uncovered neophyte, Zeke. Sharing center stage with this was his romantic involvements, making way for a nicely done, sweet romance. The intercourse scenes were fairly numerous and sensual, appealing to what I think and feel as a person (in fact, some displays could have been even hotter: -). Also to Nolan’s credit, the sex didn’t overwhelm but complemented the overall tale as an all natural part of it. Even to the alarmist climax, which worked nicely for this style.
This reminded me of Phil Andros’ gay pulp erotica. In "Secret Historian" about Samuel Steward's fascinating life, I learned he established out to not just crank out porn, but to write exceptionally literate, upbeat pro-homosexual pornography. He used the pseudonym of Phil Andros, and gained quite a name for himself (I could not resist: -) in the pulp sub-culture. I think I read that Nolan's intent was to emulate such pulp, which he or she did in fine fashion. It was a good throwback, both in terms of its style and the times. A fun, unpleasant pleasure.
[Thanks to the author for a free duplicate via Goodreads' G/G gay fiction for gay men group]
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