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Kingsley & I by Gary Martine
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I should start this post with a big label WARNING! Kingsley & I is not a novel simple to read and understand. It's pretty hard both in style than in argument.

First of all is written in first point of view by the main character, 'I' (without name, probably the author himself...) and in simple present. It has not chapters, but days, the days that beat the time of his relationship with Kingsley.

Probably 'I' before meeting Kingsley was a straight man, meaning that he had past relationship with women and he was quite satisfied by them. But when he meet Kingsley he knows that something is different. Kingsley is gay and he wants a sexual relationship with 'I'. And 'I', who likes Kingsley as a person, accepts to have a sex relationship with him to not lose this newfound companionship. He probably doesn't expect to find sexual release or joy in gay sex but he will be surprise. 'I' begins to crave sex with Kingsley in a way he almost doesn't understand: the sexual release he experiments is given by the joy to be the receptive partner of Kingsley's sex loving; he doesn't reach a 'male' climax, he doesn't have an apex, instead his sexual release are warm waves that spread on his body every time he receives Kingsley's sex.

'I' is almost frightened by the turning happening in his body, but more days pass and more he needs Kingsley by his side. The relationship with the man never cause him trouble, it's the relationship with the outside world that worries him; and not much his family or friends, but more with strangers and what he imagines to read in their eyes. 'I' is scared to admit even with himself that he is gay; and maybe he is not even gay, cause he doesn't need other men than Kingsley. Truly sometime I felt his reactions and behavior a bit obsessive.

All we know about Kingsley is from 'I''s point of view. At the end of the book I even didn't know what is Kingsley's work or 'I', for that matter, cause 'I' didn't feel the necessity to 'think' about it and so he didn't say it to us. Kingsley enters and exits 'I''s life with an easiness and still he is a constant presence. I even thought he could have a second life, a second home and maybe even a wife... Instead we know that Kingsley is jealous of 'I', he fears that the man sooner or later will need a woman in his life and will leave Kingsley. And Kingsley is also tender and caring but also a bit commanding: he is very sex driven and when he wants sex, he is ready to 'impose' it to 'I', always asking true, but it's obvious that 'I' will not deny it to him.

And finally the main reason why I should warn you on this book: in the past I read erotic novel, sometime explicit, sometime light, sometime with graphic details... Kingsley & I is all these and more. It's almost clinical in its description of sex; and the description is not only limited to the act, but also to the preparation for it and to the afterward; so clinical and detailed to be almost embarrassing. And always from the 'I' point of view, making the description also personal and too easily to impersonate: I don't want to give up in details, but some attitudes of 'I' are almost like those of women when they are in those periods...

And so, all in all, I like this book? Well it's not an easy answer but I should say yes; most of all since I started and finished this one in only two session, and it's not a short book; and more I read it more I wanted to know what 'I' would do, what Kingsley would do. There are a lot of thing I didn't understand, you are thrown in the mid of 'I''s life without background: it's like you switch on a television and there is a movie on and you start to watch it without have seen the first hour, but still the movie is so compelling that you don't manage to take off your eyes from the screen.

  elisa.rolle | Apr 21, 2009 |
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