Author: L.A. Fields
Publisher: Lethe Press
Cover Artist: Alex Jeffers
Rating: 3.75 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 04/12/2014
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Contemporary, Drama, Erotica, Gay Romance
Pack light, nothing heavier than a backpack, before you open the pages of L.A. Fields’s collection of stories. A never-ending journey awaits you along a Mobius strip that runs the circulatory system from flushed head to rapid heart, along asphalt lanes stinking of gasoline fumes and vulcanized rubber. Join Fields’s feral boys, captivating Peter Pans in flight from detestable home life, school life, everyday life. Along the way, you’ll pick up passengers, hitchhikers-runaways plotting wicked larks, stay-at-homes longing for a nudge, grown ups ready to be bent to a boy’s whims. Pack light, only the essentials. Make sure to keep a few crumpled emergency bills in your pocket. Then open Countrycide and set out.
This collection of stories was an interesting read and not at all what I expected. Many of the tales are connected through a myriad of characters.
I’m not going to individually rate every tale but I’ll give my thoughts on a handful of them.
The premiere story, Bad Sects, wasn’t the best one to start with, in my opinion. Not that it wasn’t written well, but it tackles a difficult subject. It’s an ugly story about grown men and underage lovers. There was also some things a good editor should’ve caught.
John shrugged a shoulder at him apologetically.
The words a shoulder are unnecessary. What other body part could John have shrugged.
Big to Small is only a few pages long but it packs a punch. It’s a sad hint at a despairing future.
Summertime Blues introduces two men—Darian and Tim—who pop up separately in several other stories in the collection. In all of them they stay true to their original characterizations.
Fields’ ability to write these little vignettes with the same men and women popping up here and there and allowing personal growth is incredible.
Exit Signs is my favorite of the stories. It comes in three parts from three different points of view. It also features a character who isn’t described as being perfect and muscular. Instead Bruce is a chubby guy with all the personal issues that go along with it. He and Wade (who first appeared in an earlier story) have sex in a parking lot and Bruce is thrilled at the attention from the sexy guy.
Like Ribbons has one of my favorite lines in the entire book.
No matter where you’re headed, you’re leaving someone behind.
This was a very well written collection of connected short stories.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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