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The Lodger [Paperback]

Drew Gummerson
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Millivres-Prowler Group Ltd (22 July 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1902852400
  • ISBN-13: 978-1902852409
  • Product Dimensions: 20.5 x 12.9 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,414,054 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Drew Gummerson is the writer of 'The Lodger', 2002, which was a finalist in the Lambda Awards, and 'Me and Mickie James', 2008. He has been published in various short story collections. Visit him at

Product Description

Amazon Review

With his first novel The Lodger, Drew Gummerson accomplishes something that is rarely seen in modern gay fiction; a well rounded story with believable characters and a plot that is not punctuated by long, detailed sex sessions.

His story centres around Honza, a struggling gay freelance writer who reluctantly takes on a lodger to help him pay his bills. Enter Andy, a beer-swilling, couch-dwelling slob who couldn't be more different to Andy if he tried. They're not perfect flatmates but a mutual respect and friendship is born between Andy and Honza; a bond that is tested to its limits when Andy drunkenly confesses to murder. What could have descended into a 'cuckoo in the nest' drama actually plays out a whole lot differently with Andy and Honza attempting to piece together the truth about what Andy actually did and it's here that the novel is most effective. Gummerson clearly realises that the key to a novel is conflict and it is this that keeps the relationship of the two leads interesting and the action moving along nicely. Gummerson also doesn't desert his supporting cast or the sub-plots, all of which work together to propel the main storyline, rather than hinder it. As a first novel, it is still a little rough around the edges and the narrative could have done ideally with a couple more polishes, but these are minor quibbles about what is otherwise a first rate and rather original thriller. Gummerson knows how to tell a tale and if he can keep up this quality, he's certainly going to be a big new name in gay fiction.--Jonathan Weir


Honza takes in a lodger, Andy, who seems like his opposite - a coarse straight guy who comes home drunk every night to fart happily in front of the TV. But when, in a drunken stupor, Andy confesses to murder, Honza refuses to believe him. Then one weekend Andy disappears, only to return with his face rearranged. This black comedy of misunderstandings is a deft debut from Drew Gummerson.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Truly good read 30 Sep 2002
I read this book over only three days, fitting it in arround the rest of my busy life. However it dominated those three days. This is a truly excellent first novel free of most of the overdone cliches of modern gay life and culture. It is a believable story about two peoples' slowly interconnecting lives but set in a world I know. Gay relationships are so often fast and furious and burn out before anything other than lust and infatuation has developed, but this book takes a 'slow burn' approach to the developing friendship which adds a delicious tension which lasts the whole book. The book has pace and the English reflects modern speech without going into the vernacular. I thoroughly recommend this as an inteligent, modern story about friendship that becomes love in a gay context. I loved it and look forward to his next novel.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant debut 14 Feb 2003
By LK29
I chose this book as I saw it had been nominated for a Lambda Award. I wasn't disappointed. This is one of the best gay books I have ever read. It was witty and also thrilling. I liked all the characters in the book and their actions constantly made me laugh out loud. There were lots of twists towards the end of the story. I look forward to this writer's next book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic 29 April 2003
By A Customer
This is one of the best gay novels I have ever read and I read a lot. It had everything - comedy, action, and was a real page turner. I loved the two main characters, so different and that's where the humour came from. From the first time they met it was laugh a minute - Andy farting in tune, Honza the frustrated novelist. It didn't need the murder plot but it was there anyway. What can I say? Buy this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling 17 Oct 2003
I just wanted to say that I bought this book 2 days ago and have just finished it having not been able to put it down.
It was witty, touching, compelling and realistic. I could associate each character to someone I actually knew!
Being a heterosexual female I don't read a huge amount of gay fiction (although Robert Rodi is one of my favourite authors) but I shall certainly be looking out for the next Drew Gummerson book. Fantastic! Can't wait!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Representative 2 Nov 2003
'The Lodger' takes a fairly pedestrian pace, it is not an action packed Ludlum-type yarn by any means, nor is it meant to be. Set in Derby, England, we're given instead a tale of what might loosley be termed 'ordinary folk', with all their foibles. I suggest that to any contemporary gay man or woman who knows the scene, there is resonance. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
'The Lodger' has just a handful of characters to propel events, with just a few more entering stage left, exiting stage right. Some readers might conclude not much actually happens. Gummerson's novel is indeed understated and character-driven, without recourse to additional props. It is a very English novel that I believe should prove equally enjoyable to both straight or gay readers.
Some readers might think the characters too dysfunctional or bizarre and therefore by implication, unreal. I would disagree. For example, one evening this month a police officer I know had reported on the radio a kidnapping of two men from a restaurant. The alleged kidnapper, a young macho looking man, was said to have openly brandished a firearm. They were all located, (in a white van) released and the assailant (perhaps unwisely) chased down. Just before this he discarded what turned out to be an imitation handgun.
When seached upon arrest it emerged that from beginning to end the alleged kidnapper had, secreted within his underwear, a pink-handled fair-sized vibrator! Who'd believe such a thing? Yet it happened. Prostitutes like Julie, gullible criminals like Andy and irritating unwitting homophobes are out there; complex, multi layered people, not mere cyphers.
If you're looking for salacious sex scenes, with stereotypified perhaps jaded relationships, go elsewhere.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, darkly comic read 30 July 2002
Renting out a room can be hell, especially when you're used to living on your own. There's something very threatening about letting a lodger into your private space, never quite knowing if they are who they say they are. What if they turn out to be a serial killer? Or worse, straight?
Such a dilemma faces Honza Drobrolowski, a freelance writer whose commissions aren't enough to pay off his mounting credit card bills. Reluctantly he decides to let out his small spare room. After rejecting a dippy hippy and a fellow gay man called David (who, in a brief but graphic sex scene, it becomes clear is of rather Goliath proportions), Honza eventually settles on a skeletally thin haulier called Andy. Unlike the art-house film loving Honza, Andy has simple tastes: he slobs on the sofa in front of soap operas and football, resting a can of beer between his legs and moving occasionally to fart the Match of the Day theme tune.
Bizarrely, Honza finds himself liking Andy more and more, probably because he's like a grown-up version of the landlord's four-year-old nephew Nicholas, who visits every weekend while his prostitute mother is turning tricks. Nicholas and Andy get on like a house on fire, and Honza finds himself settling into an unexpected life of domesticity, despite having to explain to all and sundry that Andy is just 'the lodger', and not 'the LODGER lodger'. This life of bliss starts to crack when Andy returns from a drunken night out with his "mates", and confesses to Honza that he's killed a man.
From that point on, one expects the novel to turn into a murder mystery, or one in which the lodger turns out to be exactly the sort of blood-crazed axe man that Honza feared when he first let out the room. It doesn't.
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