… a fantasy about pro wrestling
Size: 6.00 x 9.00 in
Patrick and David are friends who run a gay bookstore, and life seems simple and safe enough until the day when unexpectedly he walks in – six feet tall, gorgeous and built like a dream. But Homosapien isn’t welcome in their world; he’s a professional wrestler, and everything he does is fake. So he can’t really be gay, can he, or interested in either one of them? Can they even trust a single word he says … ?
Publisher: Manifold Press
Heat Level: 2
Romantic Content: 2
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 26-35
Protagonist 2 Age: 26-35
Tropes: Find Love and Come Out, Geek and Jock, Coming Out / Closeted, Opposites Attract
Word Count: 67000
Languages Available: English
Consider this a dramatic reconstruction based on forensic evidence and the sworn testimony of witnesses …
Actually, writing this scene is kind of hard. David wouldn’t have had much to say under the circumstances and I later learned that Homosapien is far more articulate in his wrestling persona than when speaking for himself. This pair of characters are going to be just too difficult to work with. They are such very different people and yet somehow now they managed to connect. How to explain that?
I can imagine David standing there by the Apollo’s counter, doppio in hand (he got it to go, just in case), wondering whether to head over there and talk to the guy or not. And Homosapien looks up at just the right moment, and their eyes meet, and David is when-push-comes-to-shove a bit too polite to turn his back and walk away.READ MORE
Homosapien gestures to the chair opposite him. David sits, leaning back and turned half away, one leg crossed over the other, trying to appear casual. He doesn’t bother taking off his jacket.
“Uh,” David begins, “I shouldn’t have done that. That was harsh. It’s not my habit to chase customers out of my store … “
“Not good for business,” Homosapien observes.
“Yeah.” David takes a deep breath. “Was there something in particular you wanted?”
Homosapien shakes his head. No.
The conversation stalls.
David sips at his coffee, but it’s still too hot. Finally he asks, “So, what are you doing in Boston?”
“We have a show tonight. At the Garden.”
“Ah, yes. Wrestling.”
“You ever been?”
“To the wrestling?” David asks incredulously. “No.” He smiles, shaking his head. How unlikely is that? “No.”
They sit there for a while. David never seems to realise that intellectual snobs put a damper on the talk of regular folks. Homosapien looks like he wishes he could think of something reasonable to say. The silence stretches.
Finally David gulps down the last of his doppio, and gets up too quickly – his head is buzzing with a double espresso high and anyway no one can remain totally unaffected by Homosapien’s gorgeousness. “Well,” says David, “break a leg tonight.”
“Thanks.” Homosapien grimaces, for lots of reasons that he can’t put into words. People aren’t meant to think of wrestlers as actors – they’re athletes.
“See you later.”
That was only meant to be a generic farewell, but Homosapien takes him literally. Seizes the opportunity with both hands. “Yeah, that’d be good. We come through here every six weeks.”
David pauses to consider the man. Certainly not totally unaffected. Oddly enough it seems that Homosapien isn’t completely unaffected by my boss either. Must be one of those attraction-of-opposites things. “All right,” David eventually says. “All right, I’ll see you then.” And at last he turns away and walks out. Thoughtful. Very thoughtful indeed.COLLAPSE
Aunt Lynn on Reviews by Jessewave wrote:
The first thing a reader will notice is the unusual style of presentation. This isn’t your standard past tense, 3rd person, hero to hero POV prose. It presents itself as the retelling on the part of Patrick, an observer to the actual romance that runs through the plot, and deliberately mimics an amateur’s attempt to tell a story when he’s not entirely sure what he’s doing. That means it jumps perspective, it hops between his 1st person voice to a 3rd omniscient he could have no knowledge of (and admits he’s recreating based on later information) to transcripts of phone calls and televised broadcasts. It doesn’t even have chapters, but instead utilizes titles at scene breaks to denote changes in time and place (whether it’s specifically meant to remind me of the ring girls who hold up signs to indicate new rounds are about to begin, I don’t know, but that’s what it did). The entire thing is highly stylized, radically casual, and completely in character for the narrator. It won’t work for everyone. It completely worked for me. ...
This book won’t be for everyone, but don’t dismiss it because of its subject matter. If I’d done that, I would’ve missed out on a story that still has me thinking about it days later. I love these characters, regardless of their unconventional presentation. Or maybe, because of it, since it’s impossible to separate the two.
Elise Rolle on Elisa's Reviews and Ramblings wrote:
There are strong themes of coming out and forced outing, as well as masks and identity in the novel. We watch Adam, the man, coming out even while Homosapien, the character, is almost flamboyantly gay, and pro wrestling coming out as what it really is to the public (or does it? You’ll need to read to determine for yourself). Masks — and not even physical ones — play a part as they are just another form hiding who we are.
Adam and David’s relationship is interesting to watch as an outsider. Most times in other books, we experience the attraction and interaction inside one or both heroes’ heads, but here we witness the joy and pain externally, often through Patrick’s eyes. I really liked gentle and lonely Adam, as he tries to come to terms of his changing life and achieve what he really longs for. David is fascinating to watch trying to be flexible in his staunch intellectual views on the sport to support his new lover while doing the right thing in exposing pro wrestling for what it is when Adam comes under fire. And I loved Patrick, with his passion for the sport as well as trying to make sure David and Adam work everything out, all the while trying to have a relationship of his own with not great success.
I am not a fan of pro wrestling, yet Patrick’s enthusiasm is catching. I cheered when he did; I cringed right along with him when it all went to heck.
... Adam and David’s love story starts slowly but goes deep ...
Endorsement: This tag team tussle with genre and gender chokeslams and chinlocks the reader into submission.
Gideon Haigh, self-unemployed freelance journalist