Gay Psycho by Michael Scott
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
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I think this is the first time I've ever read a "one-hander" book all the way through.
I read about this book in The Golden Age of Gay Fiction and all I knew was that it was a pulp novel written in 1976 and set in Toronto. I've been trying to read gay fiction set in Toronto, there's like five books in total to choose from, so I really wanted to get this one.
The book is not available on the internet for sale anywhere at any price. I did find two copies in two libraries in the world, one in San Francisco and the other in LA, so on a recent trip to San Fran I copied this book, digitized it and just finished reading it.
To sum it up, not really worth the bother.
The book is written to be set in any city, there are no mentions to Toronto landmarks or the city, and only one passing reference to Yonge Street. I was hoping it would mention bars or baths of the time, but no. It did get into the Vice squad and the police harassment of homosexuals at the time but nothing specifically Canadian.
The story concerns a murderer named "John" (not his real name), also known as "icepick" who is killing gays and the police hunt for the killer. The mystery has a twist, but I had kind of figured it out by the end, and there was no real reason given for the killer's actions, which sucked.
The book seemed to be too focused on sex to let the plot or setting get in the way. I believe the author had limitations, like he couldn't go more than 6 or 7 pages without a sex scene, which I imagine stifles creativity. One thing the author needs more of is an angle. The first sex scene is good as a couple is breaking up and having sex one last time before they move on. There's resentment and anger and hot moves. It was good. Then we get a series of couples having sex who we know nothing about, which is less good, and in the middle when the sex starts to get good again in the movie theatre, it has a bad habit of being interrupted by a bloody murder, which is kind of a mood killer.
In typical fashion for pulps of the time, the cover has nothing to do with the story. There's no whips or S & M in the book.
Decent enough I guess, and a unique footnote to Toronto's gay history.
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