December Word Reviews: Eating My Feelings, Love Rules & Two Hotel Francforts

Reviews by Gary Kramer & Marc Kromer

 

Eating My Feelings

Mark Brennan Rosenberg (Three Rivers Press)

4 Stars

Mark Brennan Rosenberg’s breezy comic memoir describes his experiences growing up as a husky, Britney Spears and soap opera-loving gay kid. Orally fixated, his life “revolves around things going into or coming out of his mouth”—from eating a pan of brownies every day after school, to spouting curses like a sailor, or, in perhaps Rosenberg’s funniest chapter, a child vomiting all over his face. (Sex is included too). His essays poignantly reminisce about the joy of theatre camp and the pain of fat camp as he struggles with a dysfunctional family, good friends, and bad relationships. And like any good “heroine,” he learns to come to terms with himself and who he is. Much of this will resonate with readers, even those who have never struggled with a diet, tried Tony Horton’s P90X, or lived in the filth of three day’s worth of trash from pizza boxes and chicken bones.—GK

 

Love Rules

Mark Abramson (Lethe Press)

4 Stars

In the seventh book of Mark Abramson's Beach Reading mystery series, the cast of characters we've all come to love are reassembled in the Castro District of San Francisco (with a few new sexy additions, of course) as we follow them navigating classic life challenges every gay man or his group of friends face. With boyfriend Nick traveling in Europe and assisting his grandmother, Tim's uncertain he'll be able to resist the temptation that's tugging at the fidelity of his relationship. Artie and Arturo are putting the breaks on their restaurant so Artie can pursue his dream of music. And Aunt Ruth isn't certain she's cut out to remain in San Francisco at all, contemplating married life in the suburbs. But if life drama alone isn't enough to relate to and keep you entertained, the entire bunch are also living amidst a spree of robberies and shootings that are happening in the Castro. Seriously, though!  The fun and intriguing read features all of the necessary ingredients: a heaping portion of love, a dash of drama, a mountain of mystery and a sprinkle of humor for good measure. Love Rules won't disappoint.—MK

 

The Two Hotel Francforts

David Leavitt (Bloomsbury)

4 Stars

  

A lovely, seductive novel by expert storyteller David Leavitt, The Two Hotel Francforts features two couples who connect in 1940 Lisbon as war drives them from Europe. Pete and Julia Winters meet Edward and Iris Freleng by accident when Edward damages Pete’s glasses in a café. Yet the two men become fast friends and quickly intimate. They embark on secret, sexy assignations including one memorable tryst during which Edward ties a naked Pete to a bed in a brothel. Their intense affair awakens different desires, and Leavitt shows how each man’s passions are inspired by their past and influence their future. Leavitt thoughtfully exposes what is at the heart of his main characters, all of whom are intriguing because they are fragile, impulsive, and reckless. And his historical research adds dimension to The Two Hotel Francforts. The realistic details about life during wartime emphasize these formation of identity and sexuality as history unfolds.—GK