Thursday, February 4, 2010

Review: Fool for Love: New Gay Fiction edited by Timothy J. Lambert and R. D. Cochrane

A very dear friend sent me the Fool for Love: New Gay Fiction anthology as a Christmas present, and what a wonderful present it was. I chose it as my first read of 2010 and as the first book to read and review for Anezthezea's M/M Romance Challenge.


In an age of hookups and cybersex, who has time for a little romance? For all those who think love’s gone the way of the 8-track tape comes a collection of new gay fiction designed to reignite their belief in love and romance. Follow the travails of a dog walker enchanted with his new client, a restaurant owner who catches the eye of his most loyal customer, a blind date fix-up, and other seekers of the lost flame as they stumble upon romance and a possible chance at love.
Fool for Love: New Gay Fiction is comprised of seventeen short stories by some of today's best-known gay writers, as well as some writers whose work was published for the first time in this anthology. I was really looking forward to reading works by both the well known and the newly published writers. However, I knew this book was going to be special after reading the Prologue written by Timothy J. Lambert.

Mr. Lambert's introduction is indeed beautifully honest and thought provoking. I remember writing and telling the friend who gave me this book that the introduction should have a title: "Romance and I." After I finished reading it, I felt as if I'd just finished reading the first short story and couldn't wait to read the rest of the book.
We've had some good times, Romance and I. We first met on a rocky beach in New England and held hands as we walked, not caring that the salty surf soaked our sneakers as the sun set on another summer. Later, we warmed our feet on a hearth made of granite and held each other close as we looked at photographs Romance had taken earlier of majestic pine trees and pairs of seagulls blithely crapping on weathered driftwood.
The introduction certainly reflected the beauty, quality and honesty and in some cases edginess I found when I read the book. Every. single. one. of the writers and the stories contributed are praise worthy and I refuse to choose a favorite among the seventeen included in this book.

As I began writing this review, I decided to do something different. I would like to give you a glimpse of the different stories and writing styles you'll find in this beautiful Gay Fiction anthology. Instead of writing one long review reprising each story, in coming days I'll be doing a series of short posts featuring each writer. I'll be posting a one-line summary and will highlight a short quote from each one. The quotes will either reflect the plot, or they'll be the ones I couldn't resist -- that's all. After all of them have been posted, they will be linked to the bottom of this review.

Beautifully written and edited, Fool for Love: New Gay Fiction is an anthology full of stories some of which I found to be sweet, some edgy, some heart wrenching, some funny and some just downright romantic. Above all this anthology is about love. I recommend this excellent book be read slowly for greater enjoyment.

Gay Fiction/Romance: Grade A

Thai Angel by David Puterbaugh
Love Taps by Mark G. Harris
Matchmaker by Shawn Anniston
The View by Brandon M. Long
Gratitude by Felice Picano
Happy Hour at Café Jones by Rob Byrnes
Trunk by Trebor Healey
De Anima by Joel Derfner
Like No One's Watching by Josh Helmin
At the End of the Leash by Jeffrey Ricker
Two Tales by Paul Lisicky
Heart by 'Nathan Burgoine
Party Planning by Rob Williams
Two Kinds of Rapture by Andrew Holleran
Everyone Says I'll Forget in Time by Greg Herren
Angels, What You Must Hear on High by John H. Roush

Other Reviews:
Indigene - The Three Dollar Bill Reviews

Find anthology here or here

8 comments:

  1. WOOT! Hils most excellent review. Isn't it just a wonderful anthology. And as you mentioned each and every story is superb. I'm looking forward to your daily posts on each story and author.

    Indi...

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  2. wow, you must have really enjoyed this one, Hilcia!! to be willing to review all the stories :D It'll definitively be on my list of books to watch out :D

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  3. WOW! Thank you Hils. I'm not normally an anthology fan, but I'm tempted :)

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  4. Indi, Thank YOU! I loved this book. Now I understand why this was your top anthology last year. :)

    Nath, I really did enjoy it. However, as much as I would like to, I'm not reviewing each story. :) I'll be selecting short quotes from each story & I'll just give you a one-liner (I'll attempt to do that anyway, you know how verbose I am, lol!), just to give you an idea of each writer's style and the story. :) Hope you DO look at this anthology. It's all romance/not erotica and I think you would enjoy it. :)

    orannia, this would be a good one for your Challenge. Every story is unique, and every writer is worth reading. It's a wonderful way to discover new writers in this new-to-you genre. Plus, it's Gay Fiction and romance not erotica... something I should have pointed out above. Hope you try it. :)

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  5. David Puterbaugh aimed me this way, and I just want to say a quick "thank you!" for your lovely review. Hearing from readers is hands down the best part of writing, in my book.

    'Nathan Burgoine

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  6. Nathan, I so glad you enjoyed the review. This was a gorgeous anthology & loved reading every one of the stories. Thank YOU for writing Heart. :=)

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  7. The writing itself is reward enough, but wonderful reviews like this make it even more worthwhile. Thank you so much!

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  8. Jeff, thank you. It's a mutual reward system because it was my pleasure reading and re-reading the stories.

    I loved Brian, Carl and of course, Casey's story. I look forward to reading more of your stories in the future.

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