Xylophone by KZ Snow opens with 26 year-old Dare, who is starting a new part-time job as a clarinet player in a polka band known as Bouncing Bob’s Polka Doodles. He and his fellow Doodles, good-natured guys in their fifties and sixties, play a dance hall where Dare notices 24 year-old Jonah, who has taken his beloved grandmother dancing.
The two young men experience an electric moment of mutual attraction. But when they get a chance to talk, Dare receives an unpleasant surprise. Jonah remembers seeing Dare ...more
I know I choose this author a lot, but she can always be relied upon to give us a complex story centered on endearing but troubled characters, and to serve it up in gorgeously clear and vivid prose. This book gives us all that and more with its unusual and compelling theme of gay men in search of a life that will nurture their spiritual, as well as physical, needs.
In most gay fiction, either religion is conspicuously absent or seen as an oppressing force that ...more
Fugly by KZ is a funny, complex, and unusual novella that draws you immediately into the weird plight of its appealing characters. It’s written in a tone of understated realism that contrasts well with the subtly supernatural aspects of the story, but its overall contemporary feel should definitely engage most readers, even those who normally avoid the supernatural. It contains all the strong points that characterize this author’s fiction, such as a strong sense of humor, flawless writing, vivid and precise details of place, pitch ...more
Bastards and Pretty Boys is a contemporary romance at 108 pages. It’s told in first-person viewpoint, and it may dazzle those readers who complain about the pedestrian writing to be found in eBooks. This author writes like a poet with short, vivid phrases, pared down to their essence, that engage our five senses.
Here is her description of one of the characters who is pulling weeds on page 30. “The tough flex and twitch of his chest muscles beneath a fine spray of black hair. His hard, straining arms ...more
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