You're right to be ill over the state of publishing -- Fifty Shades of Grey accounted for one in five physical fiction books sold this spring -- but the literary world just got better because at last Sandy Leonard has returned to book reviewing. Sandy is the only non-author in Thebes' annual queer lit poll because he is an exceptional reader. Lambda invited him to critique John Boyne's new novel The Absolutist [Kindle]. Three bites from the full review are:
"Is it true that behaviors we dislike in others are the very ones we detest in ourselves? The characters in John Boyne’s The Absolutist (Other Press) would vehemently deny this. But actions speak louder than lies in this atmospheric novel that tracks a handful of guilt-ridden and self-questioning characters from the trenches of World War I to the poseur-filled publishing houses of Thatcher-era London.
"Boyne has, through nine novels, established a reputation as an accomplished stylist. And indeed it is style that buoys this book along beautifully through a sometimes predictable plot.
"This voice and tone of an earlier time layered over a constant simmer of sexual suggestion bring to mind the masterful literary edging of Denton Welch."
You should also read his daily travel photo blog, Sandy Leonard Snaps.