8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Not worth it, unless you know the London gay "scene" well,
By A Customer
This review is from: Shameless (Paperback)
I agree with a previous reviewer: to slate this book for the gut-wrenching shallowness of its characters is to miss the point. The author has attempted a funny, wry social portrait reflecting characters (and traits) we can all recognise. However, I do not find this to be a well-crafted book, and in that respect it disappointed me. The shallowness of the personalities being depicted seems to have affected the author, who doesn't draw them fully out and shies away from what could have been exciting development, particular in some of the key scenes.
If you belong to the social group this novel writes about, and is aimed solely at, then by all means read it. If you don't, and especially if you don't live in London, then the local references will be lost on you, so don't bother.
There are more penetrating, more observant, and more amusing portrayals of the drug scene out there (e.g. Irvine Welsh), and more amusing, witty, off-the-wall gay social portraits/send-ups (Simon Temprell shows great promise in this arena).
I experienced some of the same locale-oriented frustration with that older gay chronicle "Tales..." (which Burston makes a wee side-swipe at) but at least we can forgive Maupin for never intending in the first place to address more than a local audience, that book having started life as a serial in the local paper. I think Burston should have had a firmer hand from his editor on this one.