by Aiden Shaw
Running Press. 288 pages, $14.95
AIDEN SHAW’S 1996 novel Brutal was, with apologies to Thomas Hobbes, a nasty, brutish, and short book about Paul, an HIV-positive male prostitute. It was a memorable effort by a writer who made his name in gay porn. The novel’s copious descriptions of drug-taking and sex-for-pay hinted that this was less fiction than a thinly veiled memoir. This suspicion was corroborated a decade later with the publication of Shaw’s sex- and drug-filled memoir, My Undoing.