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The Palace of Varieties [Paperback]

James Lear
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
RRP: 10.99
Price: 9.67 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

12 Jun 2008
This extremely graphic novel brims with male sex from the sordid to the sublime, in every position, place and variety! Hero Paul Lemoyne leaves his humble home to begin a new life as a music hall stagehand, but soon discovers there are richer pickings to be had from the stage-door johnnies who haunt the Palace of Varieties' Music Hall. And thus begins the rake's progress from low-life prostitution to the salons and studios of Mayfair, from the bathhouses of Bermondsey to the rarefied circles of modern art - while his lover and corrupter lurks behind the scenes...

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Product details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: CLEIS PRESS (12 Jun 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157344314X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573443142
  • Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 12.6 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 120,092 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
1934: I turn eighteen... Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Graphic, erotic and enjoyable read 16 Mar 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was a very interesting piece of fiction, written in an autobiographical format, of a young man finding his way in the 1930s Depression landing a job as a stagehand at the Palace of Varieties. Paul gets to do a few turns backstage, landing him deeper into a depraved and risky existence. The characters are interesting in their diversity, as are Paul's encounters with wealthy art patrons, a masochistic Russian artist, a straight friend with some curiosity, dodgy police officers and his mysterious, elusive mentor, Albert. It's full of graphic and explicit sex scenes and yet keeps a plot boiling that is hard to put down. A wonderfully graphic and well written classic. A terrific read for those who like their erotica to get really mucky but intellectually stimulating at the same time.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sleazy, sexy and highly entertaining... 18 Nov 2006
This is the book I wish I'd written myself. It's sleazy and highly explicit; not for the faint-hearted. But it summons up brilliantly the atmosphere of the Halls and of the queer subculture of the thirties, (not that I remember!)

Paul Lemoyne is a pretty unpleasant character, but like his few real friends, you can't quite abandon him, and despite yourself, you care what happens to him. I suppose the fact that he knows he's behaving badly is a considerable redeeming feature. The end suggests that this may be the first of a series -- I would guess a trilogy -- a prospect which makes me very happy.

The book is written in spare prose and with a lightness of touch which makes it a pleasure to read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mucky Fun 15 Mar 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Although being heterosexual I did enjoy this book I must admit that if I was gay I would have probably enjoyed it more. It is 30's London and Paul Lemoyne arrives in the city. Paul immediately finds himself having gay sex in the station toilets and then when he gets a job at 'The Palace of Varieites' he ends up prostituting himself. There is a lot of sex here, including spanking and watersports, so if you like your books down and dirty you should enjoy this.

There were some things I didn't like about this story though. At times I thought I was reading something based in Victorian times, and Paul immediately gets into the whole gay scene although at the beginning there is no inclination that he is in any way gay. For a stimulatingly dirty read this is good, but it lacks a certain something that you find say in Tipping the Velvet (Virago V).

If you are not gay you may find this book a bit too much and be offended (fortunately I wasn't), so I would strongly recommend you to steer clear. I liked this but I didn't love it, but even so I will probably try another book by this author sometime in the future.
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