The last book I read in 100 words: Man’s World, Rupert Smith

by Stephen Tall on July 3, 2010

mansworldMan’s World (Rupert Smith)

It was the endorsement from the fantastic Jake Arnott which sold this book to me: “funny, dirty, deeply romantic”. And, boy, does Man’s World lives up to its billing.

Two gay Londons separated by half a century are intertwined: Robert’s modern, narcissistic clubbing lifestyle, and Michael’s grim, shadowy, closeted 1950s’ National Service. Some of the mirroring of their stories is over-contrived – Robert’s blog and Michael’s diaries, Robert’s uploaded Xtube exploits, Michael’s naught nudie snaps – but the overall effect is terrific.

The characters are quickly, tightly, believably drawn: and it’s because we care about them that this book (for once) lives up that dust-jacket cliche, ‘unputdownable’.