After two wonderful novels with gay protagonists, Tales Out of School and The Book of Getting Even [Kindle], Ben Taylor turns his wise eye to a great city in Naples Declared: A Walk Around the Bay [Kindle].
Pulitzer winner Stacey Schiff calls the book "splendid" and the critic for the Jewish Journal says it's "superb," noting Ben "deftly sums up more than 3,000 years of history, ranging from the establishment of a Mycenaean entrepôt in 1800 B.C.E. to the signal event of 2011: 'Renewed garbage crisis.'" He also praises Ben's literary taste, in particular his appreciation for Norman Douglas [gay]: "Without him, figures such as Robert Byron [gay], Peter Fleming [dashing brother of James Bond creator Ian Fleming], Norman Lewis, Patrick Leigh Fermor, Jan Morris [trans], Bruce Chatwin [gay], Colin Thubron, and Pico Iyer are unthinkable." Kirkus mentions what promises to be my favorite part, an encounter with longtime resident Shirley Hazzard.
Philip Lopate writes, "There is no more witty, worldly, cultivated or amiably candid observer imaginable than Benjamin Taylor. This book belongs on the shelf of the very best literary travel guides."