Category: Gay Books Literature Radio

L’Armée du salut

Salvation Army, L’Armée du salut, Abdellah Taia’s ( second directorial film from 2013 based on son troisième roman écrit, le Bildungsroman, L’Armée du salut. Il a pour thème la jeunesse de l’auteur et son éveil sexuel, à travers deux histoires en parallèle. L’une raconte les souvenirs d’enfance et d’adolescence de l’auteur au Maroc, construits autour de l’importance de son frère aîné. L’autre traite de sa liaison avec un universitaire suisse alors qu’il est étudiant et son arrivée à Genève.
Abdellah Taia L’Armée du salut Salvation Army
I like how he tells it, it’s not a pretty story, and it’s based on his growing up on Morocco, mostly. His growing up is not for sissies kids. After watching the film, reading the book that term has a fuller meaning.

telquel Abdellah Taia Salvation ArmyAbdellah Taia wrote the book after giving an interview to Tequel (Moroccan) magazine (, and the ensuing controversy of Morocco having an openly gay man of words.
Karim Ait M’Hand below immediate image in video, and Said Mrini play Abdellah.

Abdellah’s 2012 op-ed for the New York Times, entitled A Boy to Be Sacrificed, which the film reflects.
In the Morocco of the 1980s, where homosexuality did not, of course, exist, I was an effeminate little boy, a boy to be sacrificed, a humiliated body who bore upon himself every hypocrisy, everything left unsaid. By the time I was 10, though no one spoke of it, I knew what happened to boys like me in our impoverished society; they were designated victims, to be used, with everyone’s blessing, as easy sexual objects by frustrated men. And I knew that no one would save me — not even my parents, who surely loved me. For them too, I was shame, filth. A ‘zamel’..

Read his 2012 NYT op-ed here: have the book [en] for @14 euro incl. delivery.
Featured manipulated images from Abdellah Taia’s website and

Novel: Forman Brown aka Richard Meekers Better Angel

An audio recording of Better Angel, by Richard Meeker ie Forman Brown . Via the Internet Archive. A nice addition to your audio player. Nicely read by Greg W.
In 1933 Forman Brown published the novel called Better Angel. It being 1933 it was controversial story matter and as such published under the pseudonym Richard Meeker. The protagonists story being of a young man coming to terms with him being gay though gay back then meant jolly… It’s quiet contemporary.
The author is not well known this side of the Atlantic, maybe due to the small volume of books written. Wonder if writing Better Angel and trying to get it published influenced him in this respect. Is there any doubt. Unlike E.M Forster.  Instead he appears to have absconded to the bright lights, to, for of it’s day must of been a bastion of freedom compared to the alternative, Hollywood, U.S.A. Brown tried his hand successfully at song writing, puppetry and adult back when adult meant grown up, revues. In contrast Forster first started writing Maurice in 1915, then basically hid the novel except from some close friends, continued writing many straight novels in a similar style, until after his passing and Maurice was published in 1971.
Forman Brown, Harry Burnett and Richard Brandon were Yale puppeteers, and the founders in 1941 of the tiny Turnabout Theatre in Hollywood, California which ran until 1956.  He passed away in 1996 (though I’ve also seen 1993 attributed)  leaving his long term boyfriend Richard Brandon. It’s a fascinating story, the real life one. Friends of the the Turnabout Theatre included stars of the silver screen and others such as Albert Einstein. The Los Angeles Library have a wonderful archive on the Turnabout set. Been part of a set seems to have been the thing in the day, am thinking of the other similar even parallel set, less whimsical (?), the Bloomsbury set.
The book is regarded as one of the first American novels to present the gay experience in a healthy light.  The good ole days. I only came across Better Angel in 2015!
All Files:

Better Angel reads like an autobiography much like parts of E.M Forster’s Maurice, which years later it was confirmed to be. The narrative begins with Kurt Gray as a kid and his home/ school life, an only child, which I can’t imagine and growing up in what sounded like a town somewhere in mid America


The University of Florida have a pdf of the book:

Want to read a book for LibriVox? They’re looking for folks.

For further information, including links to online text, reader information, RSS feeds, CD cover or other formats (if available), please go to the LibriVox catalog page for this recording. Would love to get a hard copy of this…

Wonderfully the Los Angeles have an online archive of the Turnabout Theatre see

Sunday with Miriam

Leo Varadkar twitetr Verified account

RTÉ – Sunday with Miriam & Irish Minister Leo Varadkar

Miriam O’Callaghan has a great weekly Sunday morning radio show, where she interviews guests podcast xml address below. ‘Tis always good to add quality radio to your Banshee etc.

On his 36th birthday, Minister for Health Leo Varadkar spoke to Miriam this morning about his career, his family and his personal life. He spoke for the first time about being a gay man. The first minister in office in Ireland to ever come out, good on him.
Podcast mp3




Miriam O Callaghan RTE Sunday with Miriam
Miriam O’Callaghan’s weekly RTÉ radio programme – Sunday with Miriam podcasts can be found here:







Original images (c) RTE & Leo Varadkar manipulated by me.

John Irving’s In One Person

When I started reading John Irving‘s In One Person I did not know what to make of it. The thought crossed my mind, I may not finish it.

I am a John Irving fan. Young, and those with heart, those travellers around Europe that spend time out here, whether it’s Vienna, Mardrid or Berlin will have Irving as one on their reading essentials. Like an air ticket, a rail pass, spending time in the Mediterranean, Irving is a rite of passage. He his books stay long after you have departed to pastures new. Hotel New Hampshire, The Fourth Hand, The World According to Garp of which In One Person has been likened to are great reads into a different world. Of mid America, a small group of friends/ family and Europe.
So.. I knew any doubts I had about continuing with In One Person was just me rushing ahead wasn’t really a goer.

Irving starts off the novel ever the voyerist. Which he does gleefully. If he were a kid I would have thought he was trying to shock though he tells Billy, the protagonist’s life story flawlessly. He muses on Billy’s rite of passage very well. Looking back after reading I would like to know more about Billy’s life. Not a negative (!) but I knew as I kept reading I was going full circle – from not sure if I could finish it to wishing Irving would slow down.

John Irving In One Person audiobook aindreas-com

I currently (2013) edit, write, put together a magazine whose demographic is conservative. After reading this novel I had to write it up, even for such a publication. It’s an accomplished piece of storytelling, am glad I read it. I will reread in over time. A honourable piece of storytelling for a subject which still needs everyone to be stand-up-able and perhaps be educated about. John Irving fans will love it, mostly but some not. But if you want a recommended read here’s In One Person.
In One Person: A Novel in hardcopy
I  never believe book cover promo’s though they may give you an idea of the story.
Like; “His most daringly political, sexually transgressive, and moving novel in well over a decade” (Vanity Fair).
Winner of a 2013 Lambda Literary Award
A New York Times bestselling novel of desire, secrecy, and sexual identity, In One Person is a story of unfulfilled love—tormented, funny, and affecting—and an impassioned embrace of our sexual differences. Billy, the bisexual narrator and main character of In One Person, tells the tragicomic story (lasting more than half a century) of his life as a “sexual suspect,” a phrase first used by John Irving in 1978 in his landmark novel of “terminal cases,” The World According to Garp.
In One Person is a poignant tribute to Billy’s friends and lovers—a theatrical cast of characters who defy category and convention. Not least, In One Person is an intimate and unforgettable portrait of the solitariness of a bisexual man who is dedicated to making himself “worthwhile.”

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More on John Irving’s offical site.

Apartment Zero

Apartment Zero, now where’s the stage play?

Apartment-Zero- buy on Amazon


So, a movie set in Buenos Aires.

If you are familiar to the pre 2013 you know this is kinda a repost. I plan on doing more of same of my favourites.
Apartment Zero is one I only saw recently. Does Buenos Aires well, reminds me of Colm Tóibín‘s The Story of the Night: A Novel. A brilliantly atmospheric novel. Colm s book is also set in Argentina, though in a time a little earlier, in the time of the General, a time when the streets were empty at night, and people trained themselves not to see. It makes for a great companion piece to the movie and will stay longer after I reckon.
Alors que Buenos Aires sort de la dictature, Adrian Leduc, jeune dandy couvert de dettes, est contraint de partager son appartement avec un autre locataire. Il s’agit du charmant Jack Carney très vite apprécié des autres locataires, à la différence d’Adrian. Leur relation ambiguë va peu à peu se transformer en amitié,
Interesting movie that passed me by on it’s original release – I lived in Paris at the time which might explain it. Great story, Hart Bochner is stunning [exhibit one above]. In a previous post about this movie [which didn’t survive my blitzing of pre 2013 content,] a commenter* was equally praising of the writers behind the script. It deserves a stage production. Is made for theatre in my estimation, and would love to see other folks bring their interpretation to the characters. For me the story just shies away a bit on some of the [non-]relationship at the centre and the brutal crescendo between the two main characters played by Hart and Colin Firth. But maybe that’s just how a tale of psychopathic’ nature is? Directed and co written by Martin Donovan, and co-written by David Koepp. Mr. Donovan is a protege of the great Luchino Visconti *.


Colin Firth Apartment Zero aindreas-com

Am excellent mashup by RainbOnThePrettyOnes below.

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