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Review - Solemn Contract

Posted in Book Reviews on Jul 05, 2012

Solemn Contract

This review originally appeared at Speak Its Name.

James 'Jem' Bradley would do anything for his sister Meg. She's the only family he has after the two of them left their family in old England and immigrated to pre-revolutionary New England. They left over their father's objections to Meg's plan to marry Neil Iveson, and it seems daddy may have been right. Neil has taken all of their money, and borrowed more, to invest in a failed get-rich-quick scheme. Now the creditors are knocking at the door and threatening to send Neil to debtor's prison. With two children to support, there's no way Meg could survive on her own without Neil. The only way out seems to be for Jem to sell himself into indentured service for five years to pay off the debt.

Jem finds his indenture through one of the owners of the shipping company where Neil works, Amos Tanner, who is looking for a worker for one of the other farmers, Dan Wallace, in the inland settlement of Kennet. Although Tanner negotiates the indenture for Wallace, he sets his own sights on Bradley. Tanner, the father of two sons, has 'unnatural desires' as they put it, and Jem flames his desire like no-one else has for years. Tanner escorts Jem back to Kennet and turns him over to Wallace. More...

Inspiration - Song of the Loon

Posted in Background on Jun 06, 2012

Song of the Loon by Richard Amory

So, I was on my morning bike ride (cardio, don't you know) and this random thought entered my head, which happens a lot. It's how I get a lot of my ideas. Only this random thought was a memory of a book I'd read a few years ago, one that was rather influential for me in my writing, but which I haven't talked about. The book in question is Song of the Loon by Richard Amory. It was originally published way back in 1966, when I was just a lad of eight, but I didn't find and read the book until three or four years ago.

If you haven't read it or heard about it, here's the current blurb for the reissued edition:

“More completely than any author before him, Richard Amory explores the tormented world of love for man by man . . . a happy amalgam of James Fenimore Cooper, Jean Genet and Hudson’s Green Mansions.”—from the cover copy of the 1969 edition

Published well ahead of its time, in 1966 by Greenleaf Classics, Song of the Loon is a romantic novel that tells the story of Ephraim MacIver and his travels through the wilderness. Along his journey, he meets a number of characters who share with him stories, wisdom and homosexual encounters. The most popular erotic gay book of the 1960s and 1970s, Song of the Loon was the inspiration for two sequels, a 1970 film of the same name, at least one porn movie and a parody novel called Fruit of the Loon. Unique among pulp novels of the time, the gay characters in Song of the Loon are strong and romantically drawn, which has earned the book a place in the canon of gay American literature. More...

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