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December 30th, 2009

Top 100 Gay Novel: Dishes by Rich Wallace

Already from the blurb I knew that this wasn’t a gay romance, but you never know. Danny is a 20 years old in search of security; not a good time for the search, at that age nothing is sure. Starting from his family: it’s not that Danny had a bad family experience, it’s only that he hadn’t a normal family; his mother got pregnant at 17 years old, his grandparents took her and the love-child in, and the father was somewhere in the picture, but always on the edge of it, and finally, when Danny was still a teenager, he went to work on the North, at Ogunquit, Maine. Now, years later, Danny dropped out from college, basically since he wasn’t even sure why he was there, and decided to spend the summer with his father, washing dishes in the same place where his father bartend, Dishes, a gay club for the slightly older gay summer crowd.

Ogunquit is strange, it’s not like Provincetown where 99% of the population is gay, but it’s quite near; the difference is that Ogunquit is in the middle of a place where being gay is not so simple, and so it’s like a natural reserve, a place where you can be liberal while everyone else around you judge but don’t touch. Danny has no problem with his sexuality, he is quite sure to like girls, but he has not yet found the right one; even if he doesn’t like so much his father’s behaviour, I think that Danny is not so much different from him, he has not a strong core. Danny is drawn by authoritative figure since he has never had one in his life, and so even now, he prefers a partner that can be the leader in the relationship. And he hasn’t found one in women, so maybe, even if it’s a small maybe, he is wondering if a man, maybe…

And then there is his father, working for year in a gay club. Is he or is he not? And if he is, why not Danny? Right when all these questions are brainstorming inside him, Danny is faced with two different chance at love: Mercy, a very hot girl, to whom Danny is really attracted, but who is not exactly nice; she is quite the judgemental type, and Danny is not sure to like this attitude. On the other side there is Hector, the gay waiter of Dishes; he is handsome and kind, he even helps Danny on his first date with Mercy… now Danny likes a lot Hector’s attitude, but he is not physically attracted by him.

I think that Danny is in the middle and any decision he will take will be the right for him; he can choose to be with Mercy, following the physical lead, and being happy since, in the end, both he and Mercy will balance their characters. Or he can choose to be with Hector, following his brain, arriving to like, and maybe love him, a love that can be as satisfying as a physical inducted one. This is possible since Danny is open to the world, to life and to all type of love.

Dishes is not a long story, and in the end, I don’t even think it’s the final story for Danny; it’s only a moment in his life, a delicate and life-changing moment, but the only one he will face in the future.

Amazon: Dishes

Amazon Kindle: Dishes

Reading List:

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

Hot and Bothered by Cassandra Gold

A sweet and tender love story about two young guys in love. This is basically all the plot and Gil and Dustin are also two representative of the usual crowd of a college dorm, the geek and the jock, and when these two types meet, usually the result is always nice.

The main difference in this story is that, where Gil is obviously shy, also Dustin is not exactly daring, and so they are dancing around each other, both of them trying to draw attention without being too obvious. Then during an hot summer night, Dustin finally has the courage to admit that, if he is always around Gil, asking stupid question and basically trying to steal time with him, it’s since he is interested in him more than as a simple roommate.

This is only a short story, barely a night in their life, and so obviously there is no time to further develop the relationship, but it was nice to read how both Gil and Dustin are shy but tentative in bed, how both of them want to please the other more than themselves. They are so sweet that I felt for them, wondering how two sweet and kind guys like them will survive once they will go out the safe shelter of Gil’s bedroom. But this is probably another story.

http://www.cobblestone-press.com/catalog/books/hotbothered.htm

Reading List:

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

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