Artistic Tantrums In the first chapter of this memoir (2011) Brian Sewell reveals that, seeing Aladdin as a teenager gave him 'an undying ambition, never fulfilled, to play the Widow Twanky.' With his highly affected speech Brian’s Twanky would surely have sounded like Edith Evans’s Lady Bracknell. When you read Alan Bennett’s diaries it’s easy to hear … Continue reading Outsider By Brian Sewell
Gore Vidal: THE CITY AND THE PILLAR I've just re-read this novel from 1948, which I think is the very first 'home-grown' gay novel in the US. Vidal rewrote the book in 1965 with major changes and a revised ending, less melodramatic than the original (murder) although the hero's "hell-hath-no-fury-like-a-wronged-faggot" action seems equally out-of-character. … Continue reading The First – And Still The Best – Modern Gay Novel
A couple of weeks ago I read (belatedly) Pascal Mercier's novel Night Train to Lisbon, which was loved and praised by millions - but not by me. Now I've caught up with the 2013 movie version and become an admirer. Film adaptions of 'serious' novels often fall terribly flat: The Magus, The House of the … Continue reading Night Train To Lisbon – The Movie Is Better Than The Book
Lillian, a 50-year-old widow from Sussex, has arrived in Italy to find her 'rolling stone' son Andrew, who left England four years ago. On the island of Burano, she has met Carlo, Andrew's business partner. He takes her to dine at the famous Cipriani restaurant on Torcello. The year is 1966. Read and enjoy this gently unwinding mystery in the evocative surroundings of Venice.
Wendy had read about swingers in books and magazines. A boy she’d dated in high school had showed her a movie – a mainstream movie, not porno – about wife-swapping. She wondered what it would be like to be a swinger, but married to a devout Jehovah’s Witness there wasn’t much likelihood of it happening; Mike wouldn’t want to swap her for anything except maybe a snazzier Harley Davison.