Read at a time before I d found any gay book stores this book gave me a sometimes frightening somethimes thrilling look into what I had known in my bones must exist somewhere even if I d imagined i
Read at a time before I'd found any gay book stores, this book gave me a sometimes frightening, somethimes thrilling look into what I had known in my bones must exist somewhere, even if I'd imagined it a lot less dark. The best Rushes By John Rechy am Books Set in a leather and western bar, one night in New York City, the post stonewall pre AIDS gay sexual underworld is revealed in this calssic in gay fiction.. John Rechy is an American author, the child of a Scottish father and a Mexican American mother In his novels he has written extensively about homosexual culture in Los Angeles and wider America, and is among the pioneers of modern LGBT literature Drawing on his own background, he has also contributed to Chicano literature, especially with his novel The Miraculous Day of Amalia Gomez, which is taught in several Chicano literature courses in the United States His work has often faced censorship due to its sexual content, particularly but not solely in the 1960s and 1970s, but books such as City of Night have been best sellers, and he has many literary admirers.. Bestseller Ebook Rushes I decided to read this book after reading an in-dept interview with John Rechy over at one my favorite websites, the Lambda Literary. (interview here for those interested):http://www.lambdaliterary.org/feature...)In this interview, Rechy is so brilliantly eloquent and doesn't eat his words. He gives his opinion on everything from gay marriage and monogamy, to the still very controversial S and M practices. Considering the man wrote the ALL TIME HUSTLER CLASSIC City of Night and lived through the many many changes in the "gay landscape"--the awakening of the sixties, the liberation of the seventies, followed by the terrible early eighties, and damage-control focused, fear induced nineties, he has a lot say. Now today, he is 83 years old and can pretty much sit back and speak his mind about whatever the hell he wants. I have such respect for the man. He was always a bit of an outsider and never really made it into the "prestigious" circle of white gay male authors, such as Vidal, Edmund White, Andrew Holleran, etc. I like that about him. And this book, Rushes (1979), though maybe a little "outdated", is a must read for anybody interested in sexuality and how we express it depending on who we are and what we've been through. I know the jacket description says it's about a leather bar and the people who frequent it, promising a sort of frenzied porno read, but it's so much more than that. And to those who accused Rechy of being a "sissy" hater and not respecting the "queens", I say, MAN DID YOU READ BETWEEN THE LINES? The only people he didn't cut down to size in this book, are the Drag Queen and the woman prostitute. He put everyone else under the gun. Every character in this book represents a fraction of the pie. And the Rushes bar is so alive, like a beast threatening to swallow each one down. I loved the flash romance between Endore and Robert, and Michael, and how sad it was to see it always aborted out of fear and cynicism on Endore's part. I wanted them to find love, but I knew it wouldn't end like that. Chas was such an interesting, complex character. Every flashback he has reminds us of why he's the way he is, and that fear only begets more fear, which leads to hate, and in his case, self-hatred. Don was a sad character, probably the saddest of them all, but he was also the bravest in a way, because of he refusal to believe in this "unreal reality". His coming undone in the last part of the book really opened my eyes to a lot of deep issues about non hetero-normative life and sexual identity.The end is like a jab in your gut. I won't give it away. But you've been warned.There's no walking out into the sunset in this tale. Just a group of men being turned out into the daylight, after a night in the jungle. But what a night it was, and I'm glad I shared it when then, as graphic and hard to read as it was at times.
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