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New review of The Beast Without!

Just had to repost this lovely review of The Beast Without, which happens to come from Canadian author Jeffrey Round, who won Best Gay Mystery at this year's Lambda Literary Awards for his book Lake on the Mountain. Thanks Jeffrey!

's review
Jul 15, 13

Read in July, 2013

I'd never seen True Blood or read a vampire novel. Never wanted to. Not out of snobbishness, but simply lack of desire. The only vampire film I ever enjoyed was Andy Warhol's Dracula (which is actually Paul Morrissey's Andy Warhol's Dracula, but I won't belabour that.)

After a recent Pride reading, however, I was approached by an attractive young man. He complimented me (I like being complimented by attractive young men) and said he'd just published his first novel, a supernatural fiction story. I said I would read it. (Yup, that's all it takes. Sorry.) Happily, surprisingly, I enjoyed it. In the hands of a born storyteller like Christian Baines—especially one with such a wickedly subversive wit—I suspect any story would come alive.

Baines' book gives credence to my theory that genre is the new playground of the literary imagination. (Nothing truly new of course: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is a great novel and was so long before we knew there were genres.) Likewise, The Beast Without is sexy, sassy and fun. The story never flags as we follow Reylan, an "out" Blood Shade, as he roams Sydney's gay community.

Ironically, Reylan unintentionally finds himself attracted to a closeted, homophobic werewolf named Jurgas whom he has vowed to kill. What's a boy to do, even if he's 153 years old? The tension and intrigue just keep ratcheting up. Kudos to a new writer who will leave his marks on the publishing world, if not your neck. If genre fiction is in the hands of writers like this then long live the new genre. No stake through the heart can put an end to it.

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