Top positive review
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A brilliant story of love and obsession.
on 21 May 2013
I confess to buying this book in the belief that it would be a sexy romp through 19th century gay Paris. It is so much more. Within the plot (an ambitious young man whose mysterious past has given him a craving to climb society's greasy pole)it is a compelling story of love and obsession. In the wealthy, aristocratic house where he works, Max, meets a forty-something year old Count, Miremont, a man wrestling with his own sexual demons. Max does not set out to seduce Miremont but the relationship which develops between the two is chronicled in a way worthy of Proust. Both protagonists walk a tightrope of danger, each having everything to lose by an illicit affair. But Miremont also faces the tortures associated with total love for someone who is beneath his station in life and more than capable of destroying him emotionally as well as socially. The portrayal of this relationship, and the society in which it unfolds, is exquisitely done. The author is especially clever at conveying the overwhelming physical passion of the affair between the two men without ever going into any physical detail. Equally compelling is the evolution of Max's character. Who, at the end, has seduced who?
The best find in gay literature in quite some time.