Sunday, 7 September 2008

Will Davis' "My Side of the Story" a gay novel


Will Davis - My Side of the Story - Books & Poetry - Book Review - Time Out London

Just finished reading it on the very very crappy train from Budapest. Horror. Anyway, the book, the book. Intensely annoying use of and I'm like ... and and he goes ... and LIC GAS and the truncated time and money saving SMSs, blah blah balh, but on the other hand screamingly funny in places. One of my favourite features in any genre of writing appears frequently thoughout the book, namely, the 16 y.o. teenage fucked-in-the-head first person narrator tells us how to interpret his actions and the emotions he relays, while the author flatters his readers by letting us see straight through the kid (Jaz)'s bravado.

I don't agree with the claim littering the cover. It is much more Holden Caulfield, as the Timeout review points out, than Queer as F or Adrian M. Before this aspect of it seriously occurred to me, I sent Simon a copy via NILE online bookshop for him to read on the flight back from Sydney. But then I remembered he hated Holden's whinging, and therefore the book. Not being a whinger himself and being rather angst-unridden, he might be equally irked by Jaz too. Hope it doesn't spoil his Qantas flight - assuming no holes magically appear in the fuselage between Sydney and London - that'd be such a pest.

It was a good read but I've read better. In a similar vain, Patrick Gale's wilfully entitled The Aerodynamics of Pork and Anthea Ingham's Sebastian's Tangibles, for example. To be honest, Jaz's language annoyed this humble reader so much at the beginning that finishing it seemed as daunting as getting through any of the other unfinished novels of this closing-down summer, namely, Tim Winton's Cloudstreet and Anne Enright's the Gathering. More than keen to read both, but can't focus on anything of that depth just now. Mr Davis' tome was perfect for the unforgivably crap train journeys to and from Budapest. It's a good tale and reminds us that no matter how much we are tolerated (a favourite word ... not) and our rights are enshrined in law, bullying, ostracism, violence, incomprehension and rejection are still part of our lives. Let us not forget that this is set in wordly, modern-day London. Imagine being the only gay in a village! OMG.