Helmet of Flesh

Scott Symons, Author Dutton Books $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-453-00600-2
York Mackenzie has come to Marrakech in search of his erotic center. Within moments of his arrival he meets Kebir, a handsome young Moroccan and begins a sensual odyssey that will take him into the desert; but his journey is essentially an inward one. On a trip through the Atlas Mountains with Kebir and two Englishmen, York confronts his relationship with his former wife and young son and considers his tumultuous feelings for his recent lover John. In further adventures that lead him back to Marrakech and out again to the edge of the Sahara, he struggles to accept the many facets of gay life, from the sadomasochistic to the frivolous. Although often physically and psychically overwhelmed by his experiences, York finds in Kebir a role model of unfettered sensuality and pride. Symons (Place d'Armes and Civic Square) brings to life York's native and expatriate friends, vividly painting the riotous crush of Marrakech and the harshness of the desert landscape. But York's tale is marked by a self-absorption that makes him seem spent and unfocused in the end, even as he heads back to Canada and John. From the graphic title on, York's encounters are described in throbbing, tumescent prose that, thick with massive towers and bursting flowers, may prove rough going for many readers. (August)
Reviewed on: 08/05/1988
Release date: 08/01/1988
Paperback - 978-0-452-26227-0
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