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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A breathtakingly powerful stand against oppression, 14 Aug 2006
This review is from: The Moralist (Paperback)
`The Moralist' has been described as a `dangerous' and `controversial' novel. It certainly is dangerous - in so far as it voices a philosophy that those in power do not want to be heard.

Ostensibly a work of fiction, the subject of `The Moralist' is a relationship between a middle-aged man, Red, and a twelve year old boy, Jonathan. Their relationship begins when Red tutors Jonathan for a creative writing project. Over time, this mentor-protégé bond evolves into one of mutual love and respect, and includes the concomitant sexual aspects of such a relationship. Red is a self-proclaimed boy-lover, attracted to the purity of boys untainted by the hypocrisy and tyranny of populist social mores, and falls deeply in love. In Red, Jonathan finds a friend, a lover, an adult whom he trusts to guide him through the awkward beginnings of adolescence ("I am so thankful for the forces that brought us together...for the life-long friend that I have found").

Inevitably, Red and Jonathan are forced to battle against the politically-motivated and media-encouraged hysteria over inter-generational relationships sweeping society. Thus - on its most basic level - through the medium of fiction (since "you can't tell the truth anymore, not without a mask") `The Moralist' works to expose the self-serving viciousness of an Establishment which seeks to perpetrate the myth that all man-boy relationships are intrinsically harmful. The book palpably conveys the sense of the persecution of boy-lovers in the last two decades as equivalent to that of jewish people by the Nazi Party - useful as a convenient rallying cry to the masses.

Clearly, `The Moralist' is not simply a novel. Nor is it merely a political tract condemning a totalitarian witch-hunt against consensual, beneficial, loving relationships. Rather, it is ultimately a promulgation of the philosophy of liberty, wherein minorities should not be demonised and oppressed to serve the political agenda of those in power. As such, it is a philosophical work the significance of which can be compared to those of the most brilliant thinkers in history, J S Mill and Friedrich Nietzsche. `The Moralist' is the `On Liberty' of this society's future. Moreover, the outstanding feature of this courageous work is that, through his calm, assured, clarity of prose, Rod Downey manages to capture the intellectual equivalent of Socrates talking to Plato within the highly engaging and accessible format of any modern novel.

Is it too nave to hope that this work will gain increasingly widespread recognition? Maybe. The paradox can be summed up by Red:

"Those who've lived it know that it's true."

"But it's those that haven't who will make the difference."

Help to make the difference - buy `The Moralist' now, before they start burning the books and carrying the Orwellian nightmare to final fruition.
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The Moralist
The Moralist by Rod Downey (Paperback - April 2004)
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