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The Nothingness of Ben by Brad Boney

Not for the first time I found myself liking a novel without really liking one of the main characters. Actually I was so not loving him that I was almost hoping for his current boyfriend to dump him and go for the future boyfriend… that would have taught him a lesson!

Ben Walsh is not a bad man, but he is basically selfish and callous; from what we can gather he didn’t have a bad experience growing up gay in small town Texas, a college neighborhood just outside Austin (the gayest city in Texas) and his college professor father and at home mother supported him step by step. But I had the feeling that Ben didn’t like to admit he was from the country to his uptight Manhattanite friends, and when he had the chance to move to New York City, he went into the closet… not denying he was gay, but that he was a country boy.

Now Ben is really good in what he does, he is a successful lawyer, with a bright future in front of him; he has a nice boyfriend, really nice, David. David is older than Ben, 38 against 28, and a commercial pilot; despite being older, and also bigger, than Ben, he is the submissive in their relationship, Ben has a Dom attitude that he brings from his job to his bedroom. I really like David, and he is the boyfriend I said above I would have not minded to see giving a low blow to Ben, to teach him a lesson. But David is too good a man to be mean, and I think Ben got it easy with him.

When Ben’s parents unexpectedly die, leaving Ben the guardian of 3 teenage boys, he has to reconsider his life and options. Again, I don’t think life was hard enough with him, sure losing his parents was a bad knock, but Ben is not in an insurmountable mountain, just a small hill. And to make it easier to him, Ben finds the help of Travis, same age guy who volunteer to be Ben’s second hand in raising the kids. From friends to lovers is a small step, but Travis got in line to the list of people who, according to me, make everything to easy for Ben.

Now, you are thinking I don’t like Ben: sure, as a person, I don’t like him, as a character? I love him. I love when a character in a novel is original, and I think that Ben has plenty of originality in him. I love his callousness, I love his uptight attitude, I even love when he is so clueless of other people feelings that he can hurt them with just a word. Not an easy character to write, and I think this author did a good job with him.


Amazon: The Nothingness of Ben
Amazon Kindle: The Nothingness of Ben
Paperback: 248 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (November 23, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1623801389
ISBN-13: 978-1623801380

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 11th, 2012 11:26 am (UTC)
I'm in the middle of this one and I'm liking it too.

- Erulisse (one L)
Dec. 11th, 2012 11:32 am (UTC)
don't you want to knock Ben on the head most of the time?
Dec. 11th, 2012 12:38 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah, although he's such a typical guy - head blind and single focused.... The story really lacked female presence, I think that's what I missed more than anything, at least so far. Most gay guys I've known have really close female friends, but for Ben it's testosterone or nothing. A bit weird.

- Erulisse (one L)
Dec. 11th, 2012 12:58 pm (UTC)
the author is a man, so maybe that is his personal experience?
Dec. 11th, 2012 06:07 pm (UTC)
I agree that there is a more male tone to the writing than usual in gay novels, but I am also aware that many of these are written by women using male pen-names. I do get a feeling that this might be more "male" than others, however.

Still slogging my way through "Let the Faggots Burn" - a hard read both because it is very poorly written, and because the subject matter is so deep. I can't help but feel that with the right author it could be a story that would be very well received. Unfortunately, this author just isn't the right one at all.

- Erulisse (one L)
Dec. 11th, 2012 06:36 pm (UTC)
Brad Boney is a man (unless he is not faking is profile picture in both Twitter than Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Brad-Boney/e/B00ABSE822/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1355251018&sr=8-2-ent).

Sincerely I didn't find Let the Faggots Burn bad written, I actually liked the dry style. To give Caeser his own, the same author told he has written this one as a college paper.

Edited at 2012-12-11 06:37 pm (UTC)
Dec. 12th, 2012 01:59 am (UTC)
I think that with the right author, "Let The Faggots Burn" could be a classic. I understand that it was a college paper, and the information it gives is sterling, but this is a book that I wish would top the best-seller list. Unfortunately I don't know enough about the subject or area to do it justice and I'm involved in writing a different historical novel right now, but it really touches me and I want scads of people to read about this fire and understand what a horrific thing it truly was, framed within the homophobia of the times and place.

As for BB, although I admit that he almost certainly is a man because the writing has the male point of view nailed perfectly, I very much doubt that BB is nothing more than a pen name. It's just too perfect - LOL. My "sister" lives in Austin and I've been there several times. I wonder if I crossed paths with BB at some point of time :-)

- Erulisse (one L)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


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