Hmm...I haven't reviewed any multi-author anthologies in a long time, have I?Street, Nick, ed. Best Gay Love Stories 2005. Los Angeles: Alyson, 2005.Summary
: Includes 25 short stories by gay male writers (mostly of the white American variety and most of them relative newcomers on the scene), loosely connected by the overarching theme of "love."Comments
: Okay, so I suppose it was foolish of me to hope that these stories would all be sappily sweet, but I must say that the editor took the definition of "love story" very liberally. In addition to the expected loves found against all odds, there are also stories about romances that failed to gel, about romances that are ending (around Christmas, no less!), and about the love between father and son. Incidentally, some are pornographic and others are not. A mixed bag in that respect, as well. Jay Quinn's "Coral Song" is probably the best-written of the entire anthology, and it's a poignant story of a love of sorts that's gone on for forty years--though, personally, I don't know what to make out of someone who can't get over someone so abusive. I also enjoyed the first selection, "Passing" by J.A. Deveaux, about a ghost who falls in love with a man who visits the cemetery. Anyway, none of the stories are particularly bad, and a few of them are genuinely good. And, if you appreciate expressions of heartfelt sentiment more than you like seeing out-of-thin-air declarations along the lines of "Yeah, suck that cock," you'll appreciate this book far more than the complementary Ultimate Gay Erotica 2005
, also published by Alyson Books. Notes
: hardcover, exclusive BCE; trade paperback edition available Rating
- Definitely sits quite comfortably on the fence between art and junk. Reasonably fun and a bit literary.