Review: The One Who Taught Me Everything by John Harris

The One Who Taught Me Everything (True To Myself Memoir, #1)The One Who Taught Me Everything by John Harris

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

John Harris leaves the world of M/M romance behind and plunges firmly into the realm of gay literary fiction with The One Who Taught Me Everything and it is a wonderful journey he takes us on. The story has no HEA (Happy Ever After), not even a HFN (Happy for Now), and I didn’t care because the storytelling is so compelling and the characters are so real and likable. All of the characters are sympathetic and well drawn: even the ex-girlfriend, even the homophobic father, even the lover who outs John, the main character, to the entire college are fully realized and understandable human beings.

The work is unrelentingly sexy with lots of authentic-feeling, erotic encounters, each of which moves the plot along and deepens our understanding of the main character and the lovers with whom he interacts.

My favorite aspect of the book, however is the literary conceit of the journal. I enjoyed watching the character develop day by day. Even on the days where John does not write in his journal, the missed days are eloquent and dramatic in their silence. By using a journal format, John Harris places the reader in the organic position of looking over the shoulder of the main character, discovering him as he discovers himself and feeling his choices in the moment that he struggles to make them.

I heartily recommend The One Who Taught Me Everything. This is a very mature and well-crafted work, and I hope to be reading even more of John Harris and his literary fiction for many years to come.

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Review: “Like and Subscribe” by Jay Bell

like-subscribe-jay-bellLast night I finished in one sitting the short story “Like and Subscribe” by Jay Bell. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Even though it lacked any actual sex, there was still some sexual tension and the light, humorous tone of the story held my interest throughout.

It’s hard not to include spoilers in a review of a short story, so consider this a spoiler alert.

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Buck Naked in the Barn: A Goodreads Review

This is my Goodreads review of Buck Naked In The BarnBuck Naked In The Barn by Stephen Hoppa

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This little gem delivers it all… well, almost all. I found it a quick (yet quite satisfying) read with enough sex, romance and external story to keep everything pretty interesting. I must admit, I picked up this read to see how Stephen Hoppa was going to handle the logistics of five men having sex in the same place and the same time (believe me, he handled it beautifully) but I was even more intrigued by the way Hoppa imbued the raw and voyeuristic sexuality with emotional freight and narrative direction. Each of the five characters had a strong backstory–or motivation, at least–which made complete sense of their activities and feelings, and the web of power dynamics encompassed all five men in a way I can only call masterful. Because of the brevity of this work, I will refrain from saying more, lest I spoil the experience for others, yet I highly recommend this and longer fiction by Stephen Hoppa, although for shorter fiction with an emotional punch, he’s become one of my favorites.

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