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Shameless Paperback – 2 May 2002

30 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus; New Ed edition (2 May 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034911479X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349114798
  • Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 1.9 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 878,384 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Paul Burston was born in York, raised in South Wales and now lives in London.

His books include the critically-acclaimed novels 'Shameless' (shortlisted for the State of Britain Award 2001, reprinted 2009), 'Star People' (2006, reprinted 2009, 2010), 'Lovers and Losers' (shortlisted for the Stonewall Award 2007, reprinted twice in 2009, 2010) and his latest 'The Gay Divorcee' (2009, reprinted 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012).


Paul Burston is also host of London's award-winning LGBT literary salon, Polari, at the Southbank Centre, and founder of The Polari First Book Prize for LGBT-themed work (for more info go to www.polariliterarysalon.co.uk )

His hobbies include diving and DJing.

Visit his website at www.paulburston.com, join him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/paulburston or follow him on Twitter @paulburston


Reviews of 'The Gay Divorcee':

'I absolutely loved it. Paul Burston is the nearest thing the UK has to Armistead Maupin' - Jonathan Harvey

'Delicious' - The Times

'Immensely enjoyably' - Julian Clary

'A great read - I read it in one day' - Lorraine Kelly

'F**king fabulous' - Paul O'Grady

'Wonderful, wicked and witty, laugh-out-loud funny. Burston's best yet. Loved it!' - Marc Almond

'An entertaining novel that, like most relationships, is bittersweet and heart-warming. A new angle on chick lit. Loved it! Five stars' - Now magazine

'Bitchy, funny, acute and moving. A triumph' - Suzanne Moore

'A fascinating portrait of Soho in the noughties: vivid, charming and romantic' - Susie Boyt

'Accomplished entertainment...a rollicking, steamy, witty saga... Social politics underscore the delicious froth: quite besides the plight of poor Phil, the maelstrom of modern gay life (from drugs to online sex, vanity to homophobia) is concisely deconstructed by Burston' - The Times.

'Gay London's Jane Austen... a fearless chronicler of modern gay life in all its glory and grotesqueness.. up-to-the-minute, unashamedly commercial and absolutely in-yer-face... What makes the book really special is the sensitive treatment of Hazel, Phil's wife, whose story takes up almost half of the book' - The Independent on Sunday

'Burston expertly handles entwined storylines and evokes the energy and anxiety of gay London nightlife. This incisive writer mostly reserves a light, tender touch... Moving and witty, "The Gay Divorcee" is a diverting read to settle down with' - Metro

'Warm, witty, funny and at times very moving. The main story and sub-plots are interwoven well to create a story that is hard to put down and Burston's comedy touches are a real delight. The book would make a great film. Love, betrayal, friendship and humour; it would make a great rom-com' - Lancashire Evening Post

''The Gay Divorcee' is Burston's best book by far, one of the sweetest inside-tracks about the romantic aspirations and disappointments of modern marrieds I've read in a long time' - Christopher Fowler

'The gay novelist of now. Brilliant' - Boyz

'Hilarious and moving' - Gay Times

'Easily one of the leading gay commentators of his generation' - Attitude

'A readable, enjoyable look at London gay life with just enough realism to counter the superficiality of the scene. Ideal summer reading, and definitely worth a look' - The Pink Paper

'"The Gay Divorcee" is funny, fast-paced, and unflinching in its criticism of the gay scene, but it is also deeply emotional.The strength of the book, as well as the breadth of its appeal, is in the balance it maintains between its surface and its depths. It has nails, yes, but it also has a heart' - Polari Magazine

'"'The Gay Divorcee" is a terrific read. Warm, funny and heartfelt, the tale is inhabited by beautifully drawn characters who will have the Soho set guessing for months to come over just who they're based on. Compelling and hugely entertaining, we couldn't put it down!!' - Beige

'Piercing contemporary wit. Four stars' - Diva Magazine

'For fans of the witty and wicked, Burston's novels hit the spot' - Pride Life

"The Gay Divorcee" is a thoroughly entertaining read with excellent dialogue and empathetic, well-rounded characters... a must for anyone who's been on the gay scene and met the many characters that Paul Burston has successfully brought to life' - Chroma

Product Description

Review

A wickedly funny comedy centring around the lives and loves of Martin, a gay man who's just been dumped and his two best friends, eager to help him our but not quite sure how to go about it. (RED)

A juicy QUEER AS FOLK- like read. (COMPANY)

Wickedly funny. (HEAT)

Straddles low and high brow, working as both a colonically challenged BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY and a coruscating expose of the drug-infested urban gay experience, so often mistaked for liberating hedonism. (THE FACE)

Book Description

* 'Fag Lit' comes out of the closet: the ONLY contemporary, commercial gay novel on the market!

* 'Witty, intelligent and very, very funny ... it deserves a wide readership' TIME OUT


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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By M Jackson on 3 Dec. 2002
Format: Paperback
I really wanted to like this book, being a fan of Paul Burtson's writing in Time Out, and having heard good things about it, but frankly, it's a major disappointment. Yes, the gay scene is well depicted, (hedonism, blah, blah, blah) but without a strong narrative drive, that is not enough. Unfortunately, the writing is flat, characters are at most two-dimensional, and in striving to be outrageous, the book ends up being rather dull, littered with clumsy dialogue. Maybe this book wanted to be Tales Of The City set in London, but it has none of the warmth or charm of that series of novels. Yes, it's an easy read, it's also a rather uninspiring one.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Curns VINE VOICE on 31 Dec. 2003
Format: Paperback
Paul Burston's Shameless is a witty look at contemporary urban (read London) gay life: the gym sessions, the muscles, the drugs and the clubs - it's 300 pages celebrating hedonism in the metropolis. Paul plays the gay stereotypes well, there are clever and amusing moments and the essence of the London club-scene jumps from the pages. Characters are, generally, engaging and it's easy to empathise with Martin (whose boyfriend has just dumped him) whereas John (dating the dealer) is a fairly one dimensional portrait (I am not sure if his lack of depth is intentional or not, clearly the character is intended to be superficial). It's an easy read and although the stereotypes portrayed are well-known they seem to fit too well and are - occasionally - predicable. An enjoyable, amusing read.
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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 Jan. 2002
Format: Paperback
I was given a copy of 'Shameless' by my well-meaning boyfriend this Christmas. Yes, some of it is funny, but nothing to write home about. I found the characters and situations familiar, but familiar in the kind of way that any gay man who lives on the scene could have come up with. The satire (I assume that it's satire) is of the heavy-handed variety and the writer Paul Burston seems more interested in being cruel than finding compassion in his characters. It's the kind of book that you could easily read in a day if you had the motivation, but only in a house without a television, stereo or any other books.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 20 Dec. 2001
Format: Paperback
I bought this book on the recommendation of the reviews on this site. A mistake. SHAMELESS is neither the original, acerbic critique of the gay scene that obviously believes itself to be, nor is it well written. Burston seems unable to get under the skin of living, breathing characters, instead they inhabit a world of mildly humorous platitudes and cliches. The situations in which Martin finds himself and the 'characters' that he encounters lack the vision or imagination of Alan Hollinghurst or Philip Hensher - writers who always surprise in their evaluation and exploration of gay lives, and whose prose style alone puts Burston in the shade. I suppose that if you wish to leave your brain back in Blighty, SHAMELESS just about makes the grade as a beach-read, but there is really no substance here.
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15 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 May 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is fantastic! Anyone who slates it has either never experienced the London gay scene or lacks the ability to laugh at themselves – which is just sad. There were parts in ‘Shameless’ where I gasped in astonishment at how true some of the stuff was. It’s witty, bitchy, trashy, camp, sweet and above all fun. Martin, John and Cocaine Queen Caroline’s crazy adventures in and around the Wicked West End portray the 2002 gay scene perfectly. Sure – there’s more to gay life than pills, thrills and poppers, but to slag off ‘Shameless’ on the strength of that is to MISS THE POINT. Paul Burston’s style of writing is fresh and easy to read, and all of his observations are totally accurate. I recognised people I know within these pages, and even (whisper it quietly) recognised myself in some parts. All in all, a top notch read.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Etienne B (London, England) on 2 Jan. 2008
Format: Paperback
I read this unbelievably self gratifying piece of literary rubbish and wondered if the whole thing was a joke! It is obvious that the people who have throughly enjoyed reading this book closely resemble the characters described in the book - empty air heads through and through! Unfortunately it risks perpatuting a certain stereotype of all gay folk as junkies and fluzzies. You wanted something significantly poignant to happen in the course of the story but the charaters and the story line remained terribly shallow and one dimensional and amoral. It was deeply unsatisfying and the ending was......well shameful!
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By F. Shelling on 1 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback
What I most enjoy about Paul Burston's books is that they're accessible and unpretentious. He knows how to tell a damned good story and does it with skill and panache. They're funny, compelling and, above all, insightful. As you make your way through the lives of his characters you quickly understand that Burston is an observer of people. He knows our strengths and petty weaknesses, our desires and dislikes. His characters are fully formed and true to life. It is their familiarity that makes reading his work so enjoyable and comfortable.

"Shameless", a book about love, betrayal, loneliness and illusion, centres around the lives of Martin, John and Caroline.

Martin works in advertising. He's a nice guy who has just been dumped by his boyfriend. His friend Caroline is a go-getter with a boyfriend who appears to be living a double life. Then there's John, a self-obsessed flight attendant with a passion for party drugs and a boyfriend who conveniently sells them for a living. It's London and the club scene is raging, fuelled by drugs and alcohol.

Buy the book and find out what happens next. You won't be disappointed.
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