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Recently I talked about this book with another reader, and she told me, “I have to read this book, Elisa, haven’t I?” and the meaning of that was we were aware how devastating the experience would have been, but it was right, and the only thing we could do for the victims, to read this book.

This is a forgotten tragedy, for many reason I suppose; first and foremost, because it regarded the gay community at the beginning of the ‘70s, a period when society preferred to ignore rather than acknowledge. Secondly it involved ordinary people, no famous name, no heroes: but for the fathers, mothers, sons and friends who were waiting these men at home, they were more than heroes, they were a piece of their life. Lastly, and that is probably a very strong affirmation I’m doing, 10 years later a bigger tragedy, the AIDS plague, would have stolen the scene, and this “small” tragedy, involving 32 people, in comparison to a plague killing millions, was nothing. But again, it was not nothing to who lost beloved ones, and the aim of the author is to give the chance to whom wants to remember them, to have a place where to find their stories, told through the voices of who knew them.

And while this is a non fiction work, the author is a skilled fiction author, and so he managed to respect the realism of the story, while at the same time recreating their lives and voices. It’s probably thank to the skills of the author that this piece of non fiction goes well beyond a simple recording of events.

In June 2013 it will be 40 years from when this tragedy happened, and Let the Faggots Burn took away those 40 years, letting the reader experiencing everything like it was yesterday.

Amazon: LET THE FAGGOTS BURN: The UpStairs Lounge Fire
Amazon Kindle: LET THE FAGGOTS BURN: The UpStairs Lounge Fire
Paperback: 342 pages
Publisher:, Inc. (August 15, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1614344531
ISBN-13: 978-1614344537

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 8th, 2012 08:45 pm (UTC)
TAPS did an investigation at this locale earlier this season and it was really interesting. They got the best response when their gay researcher, Adam, went upstairs on his own to try to contact the spirits. But the entire episode was pretty awesome and I loved hearing about the fire. I'll have to add this to my TBR list.

- Erulisse (one L)
Dec. 8th, 2012 11:33 pm (UTC)
WOW, that I didn't know. This book is really powerful, some of the stories in it are so heartbreaking I can believe those powerful feelings are still there.
Dec. 9th, 2012 01:18 am (UTC)
I'm delighted that I could tell you something you hadn't known. I'm almost finished with "Now That I'm Out" and I'll start "Let Them Burn" tomorrow sometime if all goes well.

- Erulisse (one L)
Dec. 9th, 2012 05:01 pm (UTC)
I discovered this book when I followed up references to the fire made by New Orleans author Greg Herren in one of his gay mysteries.
"Let the Faggots Burn" is horrifying, moving, and definitely does justice to one of those events that should never be forgotten by the GLBT community-- and indeed, by society in general.
Dec. 9th, 2012 05:08 pm (UTC)
That is another reason the author said he published the book for, as a right reference point for who wanted to know more about this tragic event.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


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