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Shameless Paperback – 7 Jun 2001

4.1 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Paperback, 7 Jun 2001
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus (7 Jun. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349113092
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349113098
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,470,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A wickedly funny comedy centring around the lives and loves of Martin, a gay man who's just been dumped and his two best friends, eager to help him our but not quite sure how to go about it. (RED)

A juicy QUEER AS FOLK- like read. (COMPANY)

Wickedly funny. (HEAT)

Straddles low and high brow, working as both a colonically challenged BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY and a coruscating expose of the drug-infested urban gay experience, so often mistaked for liberating hedonism. (THE FACE)

Book Description

* 'Fast, wild, sexy and outrageously funny. I loved it!' Russell T. Davies, writer of QUEER AS FOLK
* 'Paul Burston has penned the sharp truth about gay London, cleverly coated with sweet and sour wisecracks' Will Self

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I really wanted to like this book, being a fan of Paul Burtson's writing in Time Out, and having heard good things about it, but frankly, it's a major disappointment. Yes, the gay scene is well depicted, (hedonism, blah, blah, blah) but without a strong narrative drive, that is not enough. Unfortunately, the writing is flat, characters are at most two-dimensional, and in striving to be outrageous, the book ends up being rather dull, littered with clumsy dialogue. Maybe this book wanted to be Tales Of The City set in London, but it has none of the warmth or charm of that series of novels. Yes, it's an easy read, it's also a rather uninspiring one.
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Format: Paperback
I was given a copy of 'Shameless' by my well-meaning boyfriend this Christmas. Yes, some of it is funny, but nothing to write home about. I found the characters and situations familiar, but familiar in the kind of way that any gay man who lives on the scene could have come up with. The satire (I assume that it's satire) is of the heavy-handed variety and the writer Paul Burston seems more interested in being cruel than finding compassion in his characters. It's the kind of book that you could easily read in a day if you had the motivation, but only in a house without a television, stereo or any other books.
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By A Customer on 20 Dec. 2001
Format: Paperback
I bought this book on the recommendation of the reviews on this site. A mistake. SHAMELESS is neither the original, acerbic critique of the gay scene that obviously believes itself to be, nor is it well written. Burston seems unable to get under the skin of living, breathing characters, instead they inhabit a world of mildly humorous platitudes and cliches. The situations in which Martin finds himself and the 'characters' that he encounters lack the vision or imagination of Alan Hollinghurst or Philip Hensher - writers who always surprise in their evaluation and exploration of gay lives, and whose prose style alone puts Burston in the shade. I suppose that if you wish to leave your brain back in Blighty, SHAMELESS just about makes the grade as a beach-read, but there is really no substance here.
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Format: Paperback
This book is fantastic! Anyone who slates it has either never experienced the London gay scene or lacks the ability to laugh at themselves – which is just sad. There were parts in ‘Shameless’ where I gasped in astonishment at how true some of the stuff was. It’s witty, bitchy, trashy, camp, sweet and above all fun. Martin, John and Cocaine Queen Caroline’s crazy adventures in and around the Wicked West End portray the 2002 gay scene perfectly. Sure – there’s more to gay life than pills, thrills and poppers, but to slag off ‘Shameless’ on the strength of that is to MISS THE POINT. Paul Burston’s style of writing is fresh and easy to read, and all of his observations are totally accurate. I recognised people I know within these pages, and even (whisper it quietly) recognised myself in some parts. All in all, a top notch read.
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Format: Paperback
Paul Burston's Shameless is a witty look at contemporary urban (read London) gay life: the gym sessions, the muscles, the drugs and the clubs - it's 300 pages celebrating hedonism in the metropolis. Paul plays the gay stereotypes well, there are clever and amusing moments and the essence of the London club-scene jumps from the pages. Characters are, generally, engaging and it's easy to empathise with Martin (whose boyfriend has just dumped him) whereas John (dating the dealer) is a fairly one dimensional portrait (I am not sure if his lack of depth is intentional or not, clearly the character is intended to be superficial). It's an easy read and although the stereotypes portrayed are well-known they seem to fit too well and are - occasionally - predicable. An enjoyable, amusing read.
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Format: Paperback
I read this unbelievably self gratifying piece of literary rubbish and wondered if the whole thing was a joke! It is obvious that the people who have throughly enjoyed reading this book closely resemble the characters described in the book - empty air heads through and through! Unfortunately it risks perpatuting a certain stereotype of all gay folk as junkies and fluzzies. You wanted something significantly poignant to happen in the course of the story but the charaters and the story line remained terribly shallow and one dimensional and amoral. It was deeply unsatisfying and the ending was......well shameful!
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By A Customer on 16 Jun. 2001
Format: Paperback
There is a great novel to be written about the gay scene in London. Disappointingly, this isn't it. The jokes are obvious, the plot boring and the characters lazily constructed. Steer clear.
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Format: 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.
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