Sunday, 15 April 2012
Author: Leo Madigan
Year of publication: 1972, Quartet edition 1973
Back cover blurb: 'Miraculously surviving an explosion in the South China Sea, Merchant Seaman Keiron Dorrity comes to London to take things easy for a while.
While convalescing, he writes an account of a bizarre incident he heard about at sea. When this is snapped up by the editor of a homophile magazine, Keiron finds himself drawn into the murky, lucrative world of the professional homosexual. He enters it for kicks, for giggles, for the attentions which fans his ego; and in return, it brings him money and an easy life. Then he falls in love with a young American called Rufus; and with subsequent events comes the realization that the world he lightheartedly entered cannot be so easily discarded.'
Quick flick reveals: Written in the form of a journal, this is sort of like The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady, only with cottaging instead of nature studies, and no one falls into the Thames and drowns at the end. Yet more bawdy picaresque by the looks of it, this time in the gay subsection of the genre. Not sure how the Library of Congress cataloging system handles that. Comes with a recommendation from Christopher Isherwood. But where is real-life merchant seaman Madigan now?
Random paragraph: 'All he wants to do is go down on me which he does like it's his birthday, grovelling down there (ecstatic about my tattoo) and whelping with hands frantic up and down my body inside the silk but I don't mind, I just sit there deep in my chair with legs stretched and eyes closed sipping champagne...'