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The Wild Man [Paperback]

Patricia Nell Warren
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.99
Price: 11.89 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Paperback: 317 pages
  • Publisher: Wildcat Press (3 Aug 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1889135054
  • ISBN-13: 978-1889135052
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 22.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 801,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


A Story of Latin Love Set Amidst the Turmoil of Revolution; The latest blockbuster from a multi million-selling author Antonio, a handsome and disillusioned bullfighter secretly longs to release the wild bulls back to primordial freedom. Juan, a lusty, gentle pleasant youth, has a gift for healing and a burning passion to become the world's finest veterinatian. Together, these unlikely companions nurture an ancient tract of Spanish land while pursuing their fervent, radical dreams. When they discover their forbidden feelings, a brutal clash erupts with the family, church, and the terrifying fascist regime of Spain in the 1960s. Only two people share their perilous secret - Antonio's fearless twin sister and the beautiful fiance his family demands he marry. This new love story from the most popular author of gay fiction is a searing, stunning chronicle of turbulent Spain of the recent past, with a powerful message for the present...

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First Sentence
My second bull of the afternoon fell over on his side, with my sword in his heart. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Once again Patricia Nell Warren gives an uncanny insight in to the world of gay men. Younger people reading this story today may have previously been unable to comprehend the danger of same sex love in an oppressed society. She puts the story across in such a way that you can feel the simmering tension between all the main characters, but especialy the men, in a society where masculinity was the be all and end all. The love scenes are so poignant to someone of my generation that I almost wept.I could taste the fear when they were discovered, the outrage when they were betrayed, the anger when masculine pride stood in the way of love and the joy when the characters won through. I recommend this book to all age groups, for the older generation to remind us how far we have come, and to the younger generation to show how hard fought this journey has been.
It is a book that I could not put down, but then I find this with all of her books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A story of love, loyalty and freedom 6 Nov 2011
By Benjamin TOP 500 REVIEWER
The wild man of the story, Antonio Escudero, approaching thirty, is the descendant of a long established aristocratic Spanish family, and as the eldest son now the holder of the family title, but much to the disapproval of his family he is also a leading matador, but even worse - if he were discovered - he is gay. A chance meeting with a younger peasant farm boy by the name of Juan following a successful bull fight will set the two men on a dramatic and dangerous course, and change their lives, and those closest to them forever.

The story is told from the present day as Antonio recounts his life story to the author, he takes us back to the 1960s describing his first meeting with the proud by sensitive Juan and the tentative first few months of their growing relationship. He tells of the difficulties of such a relationship under the fascist regime of General Franco and the extreme penalties for those caught; his doubts about his younger brother whom he does not trust, an ardent supporter of the regime; and his concern for his twin sister Jose and only confidante.

When Juan take up residence on Antonio's vast estate their feelings for each other blossom, helped by their shared passion for restoring Antonio's parched land to a lush paradise for plants and wild life. But when their forbidden love is exposed the family is turned against itself, the church and the brutal fascist state, with life threatening consequences.

With just the support of his twin sister and his beautiful fiancée, the only two he can trust and who share his secret, and unsure of the continued loyalty of his trusted personal staff should they discover his secret, Antonio must find a way out of the nightmare situation if there is to be any future.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  24 reviews
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Warren masterpiece of gay literature 2 Mar 2005
By Johnny - Published on
Set in late 1960s Spain that is struggling under the yoke of Francisco Franco's oppressive dictatorship, Patricia Nell Warren has woven a story of relationships, repression, and the human spirit's yearning to overcome. Author of The Front Runner, the novel that is generally considered THE breakout gay novel that has paved the way for all that have followed, Warren has exceeded herself in many ways with The Wild Man.

Spain, in all her rustic beauty, deep traditions, and centuries-old history of violent repressions perpetrated by the Catholic Church, the throne, and governments that often backed and supported it, the political background of The Wild Man is a vital part of this story. Warren, having lived and worked in Spain during the period that's depicted in The Wild Man, has imbued the story with nuances only a real understanding of the climate and history of Spain can render.

Antonio Escudero is The Wild Man. A fading bullfighter in the traditional style, battling an old injury and his own inner conflict, at thirty years old, he is edging towards retirement. Fueled by his crumbling conviction about the meaning of his art, he carries another burden. Living in a country known for its long history OF violent racial and ethnic cleansing of Moors, Jews, intellectuals, dissidents and homosexuals, Antonio is a maricón. He is a homosexual. He has dealt with his needs, "the Big Hunger," by seeking physical pleasures while abroad, and hiding his reluctance to marry in the accepted bachelorhood of the torero. With his confidence shaken from the old injury, with his yearning for a relationship rather than a tryst, and with the pressures to wed placed on him by his family, Antonio is at a crossroads.

As Antonio limps from the ring after a fight at Santander on Spain's north coast, a working-class man wearing bloodstained coveralls leans out and offers a drink to Antonio. He is one of the butchers employed to dress the bulls that are killed in the ring. Antonio accepts the drink and moves on. After the fight, as Antonio and his entourage are leaving the arena and getting into their car, a man reappears in the crush of people scrambling for a piece of the toreros. It's the man who offered Antonio the drink. As the crowd presses in, Antonio's feet slip, he loses his footing and the young man, Juan, grabs him. Hidden in the mob of screaming people, Antonio feels Juan press his hips against him, and the unmistakable hardness in his pants. As Antonio jumps into his car, he pulls Juan in after him so that he won't be arrested by `the Grays,' Franco's police, there to squelch the mob's enthusiasm for the fights that could, at any time, erupt into a political riot. Antonio thanks Juan and offers him money. Juan proudly refuses. Juan is driven to a safe place, dropped off, and vanishes into the night. Thus, do Juan and Antonio first meet.

Over the course of the next days and weeks, Antonio's obsession with the man he saw, overwhelms him. Under the pressures from within and those from without, he risks his twin sister Josefina's trust. Called José, she and Antonio have always been close, and are both viewed unfavorably by their family. Each in their own way, they rebelled against the old traditions. They are an upper-class family, and Antonio's choice to become a torero was not well received. José did the unthinkable when she moved, unmarried and alone to Madrid, and got a job as a journalist, reporting on the Bullfights. When Antonio breaks down and shares the secret of his homosexuality and his obsession with a stranger he saw briefly in Santander, José shares a secret of her own. She, too, is a maricona. She, however, is not without a secret love in her life. Her long-time lover is Antonio's soon-to-be fiancé, Serafita, a friend of his sister's long before she ever met Antonio.

The story follows Juan and Antonio as they fumble through misunderstandings and false starts. Throughout all are Juan's deep pride and his angry refusal to be bought by Antonio's wealth and status. Antonio and Juan share a love of their native land, of the flora and fauna, and this provides them a mutual meeting ground, and indeed, a way to secretly fulfill their desire. Paralleling, and closely tied to their story, is José's and Sera's. In time, the four come to an agreement, a pact: two marriages of convenience. Before this can be brought to fruition, events unfold that threaten not only their shared dream to live as they need, but their lives as well. In Franco's Spain, torture and death for maricones is a real possibility. Underlying the main plot and intertwined throughout is a subplot of an Old Spanish relic of archeological value. This becomes a vital element in the events as they unfold.

The Wild Man is first and foremost a beautifully written story of love. The characters are fully drawn, fully realized, and well crafted. Warren paints Spain with brushstrokes both honest and loving, portraying a place that is both physically beautiful and at times, brutally cruel. The subtleties of the political currents and old Spanish traditions, set against the human spirit's striving for fulfillment, is moving and tragic, horrific and hopeful, yet ultimately a story of promise and optimism. Indeed, with long strides, Spain today has overtaken the United States in tolerance and basic human rights for gays.

The Wild Man is an absolute work of art, a true masterpiece of gay fiction, or rather, simply, of fiction, set in heady and intoxicating Spain, whose passions are revealed at times, not only in what she proudly displays, but also in what she once tried to hide.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Legend Returns 13 July 2001
By J. - Published on
Patricia Nell Warren wrote the definitive gay novel obver 20 years ago with her landmark novel THE FRONT RUNNER. With The Wild Man, Warren again gets into the heads of gay men ever with a tale of love, desire, and the longing we all share to find the love of our life and make it work.
The title stems from the love interest, the story is told form the point of view of the central character, a bull fighter in Spain in the 1960s.
What makes this story so special is that Warren started it in the 1960s when she lived in Spain. It is only now that she felt she was ready to fully tell the story.
It reads like a piece of finely researched biography, travelling through almost four decades of growth, pain, love and harmony!
This is a must read for any one who loves gay fiction!
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Legendary Author' Best Novel 12 Jun 2001
By John R. Selig - Published on
Patricia Nell Warren is a legendary icon in gay literature. Her landmark novel "The Front Runner" has captivated over 10 million readers in two generation since its publication in 1974. It has been published in ten languages.
Warren's newest novel, "The Wild Man" is argueably her greatest novel. The saga is set in fascist Spain in the late 1960s during the reign of Franco. The book is captivating. Once your read the first twelve pages you are hooked. The story revolves around a gay bullfighter, Antonio Escuedero, poised on the verge of retirement. A chance encounter with a peasant, Juan Diano Rodriguez, who has a unique ability to raise animals, leads to an unthinkable love story in an oppressive environment. The story is deepend through the relationship of Antonio and his twin sister, Jose, who is a lesbian with a hidden love life of her own.
Warren has often come under for writing about men. "The Wild Man" is proof that she writes drmaticly about women as she does about men. Once again, however, she is able to get into the emotions and psyche of gay men in a way that is unique in glbt literature.
Though set in Fascist Spain, Warren points out in the Notes and Acknowledgement section that follows the novel, that the increasing power of the religious right spells needed concern. Liberties fought for valiently can be easily lost if not carefully guarded.
"The Wild Man" is an excellent book. It is a quick read, a glimpse into a distant time and culture and a great deal of fun....
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best gay novel in a generation 9 April 2001
By Ronald L. Donaghe - Published on
The Wild Man far surpasses anything in the way of gay/lesbian fiction on the market, bar none. Told from the point-of-view of a "torero" (bull-fighter) in the Spain of the late 1960s, where every aspect of life is controlled either by the Church or by conservatives of the Franco regime, being gay or lesbian is tantamount to a prison sentence if discovered. Yet twins (a brother and a sister) from one of Spain's old families manage to find mates. Richly rendered, Warren's writing strikes many romantic and lyrical notes. No other writer of gay/lesbian fiction writes with such beauty and realism. Never artsy or pretensious, The Wild Man is delectable. ---Ronald L. Donaghe, author of Common Sons.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love and Death in the Afternoon 20 Jun 2001
By Bryan Wildenthal - Published on
In Spain, the rapturous fans toss carnations into the ring at their favorite toreadors. Let this be my electronic carnation to Patricia Nell Warren for writing such a beautiful and powerful novel as "The Wild Man." (My review title is of course a play on Hemingway's famous book about bullfighting, and Warren, a Montana ranch girl who spent years in Spain as a journalist watching the "corrida," knows her bulls.) Most would have doubted that Warren would ever equal, let alone surpass, her legendary novel "The Front Runner," published 27 years ago. But I think "The Wild Man" will come to be recognized as her greatest work (to date anyway; Warren, a vigorous 65, has declared her intention to keep writing until age 102 at least!). I am disappointed, by the way, that so many reviewers have given away crucial plot developments and resolutions in this harrowingly suspenseful novel. Be warned: read other reviews at your own risk if you don't like spoilers! Warren has that natural-born, page-turning storyteller's gift that so many elite-anointed "literary" writers couldn't dredge up if their lives depended on it. That and Warren's popular bestsellerdom may account for such snubs as the outrageous omission of "The Front Runner" from a recent list of "100 best gay novels" compiled by a clubby group of "elite" gay (mostly male) writers and reviewers. In any event, "The Wild Man" is far more than an entertaining "popular" novel, just as Warren is far more than a mere "popular" novelist as some would classify her. Her account of this fictional love affair set in fascist 1960s Spain between Antonio, a famous but closeted gay bullfighter, and Juan, a working-class youth with a special touch for animals and a burning desire to be a veterinarian, is the best exploration of the macho male heart that I have ever read. It's as soaringly lyrical an evocation of romantic love as "The Front Runner," but also (like "Harlan's Race," Warren's underappreciated sequel to "The Front Runner") darker, more mature, more revealing of the violence lurking at the heart of such strong emotions. Perhaps it takes an Earth Mother feminist like Warren to probe the male psyche so expertly, and to write a novel of such erotic intensity without obsessing over the pornographic mechanics of sex. Warren, though she has long identified as lesbian, was married to a man for many years and has been soul-friends with many gay men since. She knows us better than we know ourselves. And indeed, without giving away any plot points, Warren interweaves Earth Mother spirituality into this story in a way that will both entrance and educate many of her readers. But this never becomes didactic, and does not detract from the ferocious dramatic force of this novel, which had me up till 3 am two nights in a row, falling asleep in strange contortions on my living room sofa, as I literally could not put it down.
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