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Tragic Rabbit

Boy Culture by Matthew Rettenmund

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From Boy Culture:

?In a year of cohabitation and friendship so communal it bordered on marriage, I?d never seen Andrew?s manhood. Actually ?manhood? is a pretty canny term. I still call it a dick or a cock or a prick, but ?manhood? comes much closer to conveying the complex array of emotions that find their gathering point in the penis, and that compel such foolhardy souls as I to worship that member in a way that embarrasses us in our more rational, guarded moments.?

?I thought I?d been hunting him down so stealthily, but once I?d told him I wanted him, he became the one in control. The hunter gets captured by the game. Not that I didn?t deserver his chiding. Not that I didn?t crave it. Regardless of who was doing the hunting and who was being hunted, how much longer could I wait? I was dying on the vine waiting for someone to get a trophy.?

BOY CULTURE by Matthew Rettenmund, review by TR

Mr. Rettenmund?s prose is charmingly witty, passionately sexy, and thoroughly, delightfully, gay. Boy Culture, the first of two novels (thus far) by Matthew Rettenmund, is the wonderfully fresh and happy story of X, our nameless narrator who works as a high-end callboy, and his two cute roommates.

Roommate Joe, a adorable teenager who manages to be deliciously innocent despite a penchant for the party life, is falling hard for X. ?What to do when a naked seventeen-year-old serves himself up to you on a silver platter??, X asks himself. Joe has a thousand beauty aids in his bathroom and no shortage of company in bed, but longs for X to be his Prince Charming.

But the object of X?s affection is Andrew, their stud roommate who broke up with a girlfriend but hasn?t quite decided whether he?s gay. ?Attraction is chance. By chance, however, Andrew was hot as the seventh plane of hell.? Living with a man you feel so powerfully attracted to, and who doesn?t (yet) have sex with men, is a torment for anyone, and X is no exception: ?After a year of fantasizing sleeping with Andrew and making him my boyfriend, I found myself in the unenviable position of being hopelessly, helplessly in love with him. Kill me now.?

Between fabulous and hilarious takes on urban gay culture in our time, Rettenmund gives us heartbreaking moments in the lives of his characters. For instance, X finds himself confused by an attraction to Gregory, the romantic octogenarian client who pays by the hour but won?t have sex with him until X wants it half as much as he does! If you think that feat would be beyond a man in his eighties, you?d be wrong; when they finally do have sex, it is one of the hottest scenes in the book.

The roommates, their friends, lives, loves and heartbreaks, are all written in a clear, clean prose that makes us laugh as easily as it makes us feel lust or heartfelt longing. The result is a wonderful book and an unusual love triangle; a feast that simply won?t let you put the book down until you?ve eaten every bite. These aren?t perfect guys, but they?re real guys. You?ll suffer and laugh with them throughout Boy Culture and then, when you?re done, you?ll want to read it all again.

Boy Culture is published by St. Martin?s Griffin of Fifth Avenue, NYC and available from Amazon and other major publishers.

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