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Glove Puppet [Paperback]

Neal Drinnan
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

26 Sep 2002
GLOVE PUPPET is a love story, an erotic gay novel, a confronting, sordid tale of chance, sex and manipulation. The narrator is Johnny/Vaslav, a world weary twenty year old who's seen more and done more than most boys his age. Raised by his drug addicted prostitute mother, Johnny knows only drugs and paid sex, violence and destitution. The seeds of his "badness" are planted in this urban English childhood. The death of his mother and a chance encounter with a stranger bring Johnny to Sydney where he becomes Vaslav, son of a prominent dancer and gay activist. But the fairytale turns awry as "Johnny" resfuses to be laid to rest and a forbidden love affair begins and ends - with tragic consequences.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; 1st Edition edition (26 Sep 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140267891
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140267891
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 1.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,837,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Born in Melbourne, Australia in 1964, Neil was dubiously educated at various high schools and at Camberwell Boys Grammar. At the age of seventeen he abandoned his education and suburban family home life for the lure of life's more ephemeral things. He was worked in publishing for many years, has been a frequent contributor to OUTRAGE magazine in Australia and is a regular columnist for Sydney's Capital Q.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DARING AND DISTURBING 6 Sep 2000
Format:Paperback
From the moment his drug-addicted mother drops dead on the platform of a London railway station and seven-year-old Johnny allows himself to be carried away in the arms of a complete stranger, it is clear that Neal Drinnan is intent on taking you into some very morally dubious territory. The stranger turns out to be Shamash, a famous Australian dancer whose own seven-year-old son has just died, and who hits on the plan of taking Johnny back to Syndney with him to take his son's place. So Johnny becomes Vaslav, and finds himself transplanted from the Brighton council estate he grew up on to the bohemian world of a prominent and respected gay artist. But as Vaslav grows older, his own emerging sexuality (fuelled perhaps by the constant gay lifestyle surrounding him) propels him towards blackmailing his 'father' into a sexual relationship which, once it's begun, threatens to bring the new life he has constructed crashing down on top of him.
In many ways, this is a book which sets out to be problematic. The implication that, because Shamash is gay, it is only a matter of time before a sexual relationship develops between him and his 'son' may well upset many gay men (while the implication that young boys growing up on Brighton council estates are somehow destined to become rent boys when they get older seems downright bizarre). Where the book triumphs, however, is in daring to illustrate how not all cases of alleged child abuse can be pigeon-holed into 'the abuser' and 'the victim'. Johnny/Vaslav's fatal flaw is his precociousness and his ability to manipulate others to get what (he think) he wants. Shamash's flaw is his inability to withstand his son's relentlessness.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reading 23 July 1998
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
From the moment I picked this book up I couldn't put it down.
Set mainly in Sydney, Glove Puppet is the story of love between and man and boy and the tragic events that surround it. It demonstrates how the media, the law, and the public can totally misinterpret people's circumstances.
Order it now for when it is published in the U.S. - in fact order two copies - one for yourself and one for a friend because this is one book you'll want to keep and read again.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Three/three/three books in one! 20 July 2000
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"Glove Puppet" is obviously a first novel - a competent and often engaging foray into the bizarre relationship between a sexually precocious kid and his adopted stepfather. The first part of the novel seems a solid beginning about the coming of age of a child of the streets who by chance is adopted by a needy male dancer to replace his own lost son. Good start.
Part 2 deals primarily with an out and out gay porno theme capped by the development of a "father/son" tryst that ends in imprisonment of the "paedophilic" father. It is a downhill slide from there.
Part 3 is odd backtracking and reportage of the events and reactions of Australian society to the early demise of the imprisoned father - memorial service, predictions, reflections.
Three books: three writing styles - conflicted at best - all in a quck read format of just over 200 pages. But Drinnan does keep our attention. And if you want to delve into the seemy side of underground sex/drugs/etc in Australia, this is good entertainment. I wonder what he'll do next.........
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Read from the Land downunder 3 Jun 2000
By Maurice Williams - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Nothing but good things to say about this debut novel by Drinnan, engaging plot, crisp, fluid prose and characters whose struggles with a life of excess leads them to destructive behaviors; the consequences of which proves to be fatal. In terms of ones sexual orientation, the author seems to leave the question of environment versus genetics open to the reader's interpretation. Did Vas' life unfold as it did because of his early environment consisting of a drug addicted prostitute mother, and later, a gay father figure whose life lacked social or moral boundaries? Or was his life predetermined, having inherited the genes of addiction, compounded with the over active hormones of adolescence? Glove Puppet blurs the line of love and desire in a way that demonstrates the necessity that each of us come to a place where we're able to distinguish between the two; for there's nothing more harmful to the individual spirit than misplaced love or unhealthy desire. Kudos to Drinnan for a first novel that's delivers its characters in a raw, truthful, manner that reminds us that limits are necessary to life enrichment and excess is just that . . . more than necessary.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reading 23 July 1998
By tomg@netspace.net.au - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
From the moment I picked this book up I couldn't put it down.
Set mainly in Sydney, Glove Puppet is the story of love between and man and boy and the tragic events that surround it. It demonstrates how the media, the law, and the public can totally misinterpret people's circumstances.
Order it now for when it is published in the U.S. - in fact order two copies - one for yourself and one for a friend because this is one book you'll want to keep and read again.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best gay novel of the year 13 Oct 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
All I can say is that the great Aussie gay-themed novel has finally appeared. Jonny/Vas is a wonderfully drawn character, thoroughly manipulative, suitably sleazy but with a great street cred about him. One can feel for the foster father placed in a horrible situation by his charge, but the narrative is so good, one can't put the thing down. Glad to see its being published in the US and in hardcover to boot. Take the time to read it . ENJOY!!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars convincing fictionalized autobiography 18 Oct 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This short novel is presented as an autobiographical work and has an intriguing cast of characters. Illicit love affairs replete this book. A well written effort which made for a brief but enjoyable read. An interesting story set in current day Sydney, Australia. The "autobiographical writer", Johnny/Vas, is not a particularly sympathic person and the troubles he accidently creates for his benefactor through his own inadvertent indiscretions condemn Johnny/Vas to reverting to the social condition (drugs/prostitution) into which he had been born. A neat turning of the wheel. Genetics win out!
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