Sunday, September 29, 2013


Edith Nesbit is a writer I'm well acquainted with from her magnificent ghost stories -- however, I've never read any of her children's books. Gore Vidal argued that 'After Lewis Carroll, E. Nesbit is the best of the English fabulists who wrote about children (neither wrote for children) and like Carroll she was able to create a world of magic and inverted logic that was entirely her own.' Having re-read Vidal's Nesbit essay and having just watched Lionel Jeffries's extraordinary 1970 movie of THE RAILWAY CHILDREN, now I'm keen to explore Edith Nesbit's children's novels. Nice to have something to look forward to! Vidal's 1964 essay is available free at New York Review of Books:

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Michael Talbot published his first novel THE DELICATE DEPENDENCY in 1982. It was a paperback original from Avon Books. Subtitled 'A Novel of the Vampire Life' -- I distinctly remember seeing this in the bookstores during 1982, when I was fifteen. I was already reading a lot of horror and fantasy fiction, but for some reason never bought this book. 

I regret that now, as THE DELICATE DEPENDENCY is a much sought-after collector's item. I don't want it for a collection, I just want to read it! Unfortunately, it's long out of print and this was the only edition.

Michael Talbot was a gay man who died in 1992 at age 38 (from leukemia). Perhaps his literary executors have not actively pursued trying to get this reprinted? Given the intense interest and demand, it seems ripe for releasing as e-book at the very least.

The most intriguing thing is that there are 18 reviews posted on, and each one rates it 5 stars. It's been strongly recommended to me several times. Wish I had bought it back in 1982, when I was haunting Books-A-Go-Go in Laramie, Wyo!

Sunday, August 18, 2013


I recently read Paul Monette's TAKING CARE OF MRS. CARROLL for the first time -- a wonderful, unique, summery gay novel from 1978. 

I bought it in 1987 when I was 20 years old, and it sat on my shelf unread until now! Readers seem all over the map on this one, but I absolutely loved it. I do think it helped that I waited until I was 46 to read it (I probably wouldn't have been able to appreciate its subtlety when I was 20). Nothing beats the power of Monette's AIDS memoir BORROWED TIME, but for anyone wishing to be transported back to a carefree sexy summer in the late '70s, I highly recommend taking a dip into TAKING CARE OF MRS. CARROLL! Exquisite and masterful!

<-- The cover art from the 1979 Avon Books paperback is just exquisite. A beautiful sketch of two men kissing, with 'Mrs. Carroll' (or is it?) in the background.