elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Best Gay Historical: Purgatory by Jeff Mann

Purgatory was the dark horse of last year Rainbow Awards, winning in a competitive category like the Historical Fiction, competitive since it draws the best pieces of fiction out there. Dark horse because, sincerely, not many had heard about this book, or at least not in the “usual” circles. I read something by Mann, mostly short stories in collective anthologies, and I have always found his pieces to be lovely, because he manages to deliver hot and sexy with classy, even the more dirty situation, presented with his lyrical style, become poems.

Jeff Mann is also a poet, or maybe he is mainly a poet borrowed to fiction; he is also a bear, something that you often found reflected in his own characters. He also writes of places he knows, or times he researched, and Purgatory is a summa of both. It’s not an easy novel, it’s about torture, and a time that was not pretty; I was also scared to read this novel because I like my happily ever after, and I was fearing there was no chance for these two to have one. But I think that, deep down, or maybe not even so deep, Mann is a romantic man (pun intended and citation of Mann’s poetry book, A Romantic Mann), and so, even if he was writing of torture, and pain, there was his lyrical language alleviating the whole, and the feeling that he loved his characters and wanted for them to have that impossible chance.

For what I can tell, not being an expert of the Civil War, this is also a wonderful piece of historical fiction, the time and the custom, the men at war and the places they visit, are beautifully rendered; sure it’s hard to think that war prisoners maybe went through what Drew did, I hope that is where the literary freedom enters the picture, but again, as I said, I’m not an expert of that period and maybe that was even possible in reality, unfortunately it’s not the first time I read of tortures inflicted in war time that rival with the worst medieval Inquisition.

There is romance, historical fiction, erotica and BDSM, all wrapped up with a writing style that is a pure form of poetry. Purgatory by Jeff Mann is destined to become a classic of the Gay literature.


Amazon: Purgatory: A Novel of the Civil War
Amazon Kindle: Purgatory: A Novel of the Civil War
Publisher Bear Bones Books (March 5, 2012)
Language English
ISBN-10 1590213750
ISBN-13 978-1590213759

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

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Tags: author: jeff mann, genre: historical, length: novel, rainbow awards 2012, review, theme: bondage submission, theme: military

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