Queer and Alone

James Strahs, Et, Author, David Stradling, Author PAJ Publications $15.95 (219p) ISBN 978-1-55554-021-0
Take a little of Eric Ambler's Simpson at his tackiest, add some Alexander Pope at his most ribald, and you might end up with Desmond Farrquahr, obnoxious, effete and full of grandiose pretensions. Des, alluding to ""what happened to me stateside,'' a mysterious event that keeps him from returning to his homeland, sets out from Italy on a dilapidated steamship bound for Hong Kong. His fellow travelers, a more or less ordinary group by normal standards, are bizarre when seen through Des's eyes. The cleric, he is sure, is a closet arsonist. The cleric's prudish friend, Miss Springman, is no doubt a professional entrapper with her sights set on our hero. The narrative follows the ill-fated steamer through breakdowns and storms at sea. A fresh insult awaits Des in every port, and much of what goes on is howlingly funny. Strahs, author of the nonfiction Seed Journal, has an ear for sly innuendo and an eye for the ridiculous. The book suffers, though, from too many locker-room-style sex scenes, which succeed neither as comic erotica nor as slapstick. This is an enjoyable book, which, with a bit of control, might have been a much better one. (November 15)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
Paperback - 246 pages - 978-0-9967646-0-5
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