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 V.22 No.50 | December 12 - 18, 2013 

Book Review

Worth the Dip?

Or can you skip?

Bad Idea

Damon Suede
Dreamspinner Press
gay romance

Imagine that you could invent your own sex-crazed superhero. What attributes would you give him? This is the question comic book artist Trip Spector wrestles with in gay romance writer Damon Suede's latest opus Bad Idea—so, naturally, Trip gives the hero the attributes of his latest beau, Silas Goolsby. Each word shared between these two New York men lingers within their own physical, arousing conversation; soon, the reader is immersed in a tale of love and art. Or is it art that begets love?

The story reflects Trip's artistic pursuits in a profession dominated by politically correct and corporate-savvy favoritism. Yet, when Trip meets Silas at a New Years' Eve zombie run, his doubts about his professional abilities are somewhat assuaged. Because what's a romance novel without a little bit of insecurity to squash? Actually, this is my first foray into romance novelism, so you tell me. As they become acquainted, words flip-flop out of their mouths, longing looks are traded and bam: love at first lust.

If gay love scenes between a randy, lean comic book artist with “a lot” to be proud of and a muscular artist with a heart of gold sound exciting, enticing or remotely enjoyable, then this book has that in spades.

But the bulk of Bad Idea centers on Trip's newest comic, a work-in-progress that hones in on a maniacal demon, an incubus that uses sex to suck the lives out of unsuspecting men. It isn't until Trip falls deep for Silas that he starts to give his two-dimensional drawings the three-dimensional boyfriend treatment. He ignites life onto the page with Silas' eyes and exudes masculine power by sketching his muscles on a white background … Let’s just say stuff gets real—think reverse-Pygmalion. And like any romance, there's sex. Lots of it. And it's pretty graphic, so if you want details, read the book.

If gay love scenes between a randy, lean comic book artist with “a lot” to be proud of and a muscular artist with a heart of gold sound exciting, enticing or remotely enjoyable, then this book has that in spades. The love story isn't badly put together, but it suffers from age-old relationship clichés … you know … where two people meet and fall in love. But then one person screws it up, and they stay mad at each other for a specific amount of time before they come together and share a kiss. Maybe more? The writing could also use a bit more thought.

There were points where the words seemed to linger along a lazy spectrum, like when Suede compares a look traded between Trip and one of his girlfriends to a “dildo in a dishwasher.” What does that even mean? I'll let you figure it out. But if you want to read about an artist getting it on with a hot, buff dude over and over (and in multiple positions), then yes … this novel is for you. If you're into groundbreaking verbage … try Henry Miller.


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