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Review: Fool For Love: New Gay Fiction edited by RD Cochrane & Timothy Lambert
Title: Fool For Love: New Gay Fiction
Author: R. D. Cochrane and Timothy J. Lambert, editors
Author’s website: N/A
Publisher: Cleis Press
Release Date: February 2009
Length: Anthology, 265 pages
Genre: Literature, Romance, GLBT
Sensuality Level: 2
Reviewed by: BD Whitney
Fool For Love: New Gay Fiction is an anthology of sixteen short stories collected and edited by R.D. Cochrane and Timothy J. Lambert. Tied together with a common theme of love between gay men, these stories illustrate a gamut of styles, plots, and emotions. My reactions varied between stories, and I found some to be more appealing than others, but overall I found them to be well-written, smart, and quite entertaining.
Some of these stories inspire introspection; some elicit a smile or tears. They touch on the excitement of young love, the heart-rending pain of death, the tentative blossoming of a new love, and even the wistful yearnings of those who have lost love or have never found it at all. The characters in these stories run the range from boys still in their teen-aged years to men of middle age to those who have passed over into death and have left their loved ones behind.
One of the aspects of a short story anthology that I appreciate is how convenient they are to read. I have been traveling around with Fool For Love in my briefcase for a couple of months now, reading a story here and there as time permitted. The stories are all so varied that I was never sure what I would get when I opened the cover once again, but I did know that I would find something enjoyable, perhaps even touching.
If you asked me which of these short stories was my favorite, I don’t believe that I would be able to give you an answer. Each touched me in a different way: ‘Nathan Burgoine’s “Heart” broke my heart, Andrew Holleran’s “Two Kinds of Rapture” made me think, and Joel Derfner’s “De Anima” made me laugh. Fool For Love closes with a poignant story titled “Angels, What You Must Hear on High” by John H. Roush that ends the series of stories perfectly, and the editors have written both an introduction and an afterward to this collection that are very worth reading as well.
All of the authors featured in this collection were new to me, and most of them impressed me with their insight, their talent, and their unique voice. Not only did I find the stories to be individually enjoyable, but I found Fool For Love as a whole to be satisfying and vibrant. Overall, this is a well constructed anthology, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to read it.