Browsing: Frenemies

September-October 2019

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Lovejoy has done extensive historical research and deploys it well, recreating London in the 18th century down to graphic details, such as the smell of trash and human waste in the streets.

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IT’S HARD TO SAY which hit maker, Elton John or Madonna, had a better summer. The former is the subject of a riveting new biopic, Rocketman, the latter the creator of an ambitious new LP, Madame X—both tributes to the creativity and staying power of their subjects.

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Short reviews of State of Pride, Vita and Virginia, Making Montgomery Clift, Adam, An Almost Ordinary Summer, and End of the Century.

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Flannelwood is a novel about love, loss, searching, and self-discovery. Much of the interaction between Bill and James is sensual and erotic. The narration is realistic but rich, at times bordering on poetic.

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You Will Be Safe Here is smart and well-written, … a remarkably effective novel about the historic tensions that have informed South Africa since its birth. The fact that one of the main characters is gay is just one among a number of tensions.

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[In Stella Maris and Other Key West Stories, Michael Carroll] takes the conventions of the summer novel and twists them inside out, revealing a world of privilege and exclusion while also satirizing a certain strain of gay life that after the 2016 election feels comically out of touch in a world of uncertainty and turmoil.

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“DO I NEED to set down the circumstances?” The narrator, Alec Pryor, confronts the reader with this question on the first page of Murmur: A Novel. Alec Pryor is a thinly disguised version of Alan Turing, the English mathematician who broke the Nazis’ Enigma code in World War II …

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In his “American Novels” series, Norman Lock has previously published novels about Dickinson, Thoreau, Poe, Whitman, and Twain. Feast Day of the Cannibals is the first of his novels to explore the lives of 19th-century men who felt a sexual attraction to each other.

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Reading Mr. Know-It-All feels like catching up with a cherished friend after several years apart, someone whose enthusiasm for all the things he loves—cinema, kink, trash—is entirely contagious. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

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Upon arriving in Italy from their enchanted island, Prospero forcibly separates Miranda from Ferdinand and takes her to their family palace in gloomy Milan. Miranda is locked in her chambers like a prisoner with few visitors except for a grim governess and Dorothea. Luckily, …

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