Troubador The Mystery Religions of Gladovia

Released: 02/11/2015

eISBN: 9781785894664

Format: eBook

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The Mystery Religions of Gladovia

A Novel

by

Out in the street, walking along under the palms, I felt immensely proud to be with Nik. Some weeks ago I’d put an ad in a contact magazine reading “English aesthete seeks local bruiser to teach him a lesson,” but the only reply I got was from someone wanting to teach me Spanish. I couldn’t, anyway, have expected to contact anyone remotely of Nik’s quality. But I still couldn’t figure out why I’d spent the entire session this evening uninvolved. It wasn’t what I’d planned, and yet somehow I’d turned into the organizer, arranging things for other people but never for myself. I put this to Nik.

“Oh, I wouldn’t worry if I were you,” he replied. “Someone had to arrange everything, and if you’d been a Master or a slave that might have been difficult. You’d have chosen all the best slots for yourself.”

“Like being caned by you,” I said.

“Really?” Nik said, turning to me. “Is that what you want? I’d love to punish you, darling, and it would be even nicer if there were only the two of us there. After not taking part this evening, your buttocks must be almost virginal. I’d love to make a start on changing that for you.

“But maybe we need a reason for your punishment. Let me see. How about that you’re unable to love? All your perambulations – don’t think I don’t understand them. So I’ll cane you until you confess your true nature.”

I gave an involuntary start. “But I do love!” I exclaimed. “I mean, at school …”

“Oh, at school,” retorted Nik. “How long ago was that? No, I think that nowadays you’re a promiscuous gay and nothing else. But don’t worry, I’ll cane the truth out of you. Do you want to make a date for it now?”

By the same author:
The Insider's Guide to Bali
The Insider's Guide to Thailand
Falstaff in Macau
The Traveler's Japan Companion (co-author)
A Season in Macau

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A major work of the gay genre. I was drawn to this novel's title which suggested secret ancient rituals and for me these were a key element of its compelling climax. I'd read few "gay genre" novels before but soon realised that label is redundant here. The sensuality, secret passion, voluptuous anticipation are all here, but there's also an engrossing plot. Will anything come of the young man's feelings for his fellow student? Will a ruined reputation lead to tragedy? How will two main characters react when they meet years later leading new lives in a distant country?

The characters and their interactions are complex. In addition the author expounds interesting themes - the gay ethos, society, history, religion. His erudition and prose style make this an absorbing read. For me "Gladovia" is right up there with the other "gay" novels I've read: Isherwood, Gide and Wilde. Not sure about the ending, though I felt the same about Wuthering Heights and Bleak House. Not a problem. It's always a bonus when I stop reading and reach for the detailed map of a location. More so, as here, when it's the Ordnance Survey western Lake District.

by Alan Sturgess via Amazon


Bradley Winterton

Bradley Winterton is a freelance writer specializing in books, classical music and travel. He holds a Master's Degree from Oxford University (1981) and an M.Phil. Degree from Hong Kong University (1996). the latter was awarded for a thesis entitled "Bohemianism and Literature 1830-1975, with special reference to John Addington Symonds, Kenneth Grahame and Kenneth Rexroth".

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