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 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".