elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Best Gay Erotica Contemporary (3° place): The Wine-Dark Sea by A.J. Llewellyn

This was almost an haunting book, I had the impression that Daniel, the main character, had to go to the hell and back to find happiness, and for most of the story I was not sure he would have been able to in the end.

A series of wrong lovers, no one of them Mr Right, on the contrary men who seem to only take from Daniel and never give back, but in a way or the other Daniel was not able to get rid of them. The only one who had potential was apparently a murderer.

After the first chapter, I really had the feeling that Daniel was trying to punish himself for something, because I didn’t understand how he could accept to live with Francois, who was clearly sucking Daniel’s life source, or to continue to frequent Alain/Alana, a transgender woman, who, when she was a man, treated Daniel like a piece of s…. At one point I thought that Daniel had an Oedipus complex at the contrary that his father was a role model to whom he compared all his lovers, and no one of them was up to the level. Indeed Daniel’s father is probably one of the few supporting characters that I really like, along with his fiancé Lu, probably because they were also the only ordinary ones.

All the story is set in a not so common Paris, meaning that Daniel, as a stranger to the town, is not filling the reader with the usual clichés, Eiffel Tower, Montmartre and so on, but instead he was giving little details (on the account that he is a travel guide writer) that I, as a traveller, would have liked to try (such as the hotel into the hospital, or the odd art exhibition around the city).

I cannot really say much on the love story, since it’s part of the appeal of the book, there is a turn on the middle of the story that can surprise, but I can assure you, it’s a good surprise. What I can say is that what sex Daniel is having is good, even if he has issues to resolve with his partner, sex is not one of them. Or maybe, at some point, sex is the only reason why Daniel sticks to that specific partner. There are three men in his life, a former lover, that would like to remain in Daniel’s life even if he cannot be what he was for Daniel, a present lover, that is claiming Daniel is his life and he cannot live without him, and a future lover, who is not asking anything to Daniel, and probably for that reason is the one I like the best. Alana and Francois are really needy and obsessive, always involving Daniel in something they have no right to: if they have done specific choices, they have also to have the strength to pursue those choices.

In the end, what probably surprised me was that The Wine-Dark Sea was not at all a light book, and it was everything other than simply erotica, something that is not common in the Ellora’s Cave production.



Amazon Kindle: The Wine-Dark Sea
Publisher: Ellora's Cave (June 25, 2010)

Reading List:

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
Tags: author: a.j. llewellyn, genre: contemporary, length: novel, rainbow awards 2010, review, theme: art world, theme: medical, theme: multicultural

  • Post a new comment


    Comments allowed for friends only

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded