lethe press

Book Review: THE REST OF OUR LIVES by Dan Stone

I’ve always been a huge fan of extremes, and the first thing I noticed in Dan Stone’s novel, THE REST OF OUR LIVES, was that the main characters were complete opposites. And when I read gay fiction of any kind, I like knowing where the characters stand with each other, and I like knowing it right away. So the last line in the prelude set the stage for me when Aidan says, “You wanna be the top?” I knew, after this, there were good things coming in this book. And I wasn’t disappoitned.

The thing that creates conflict and layers the characters with more dimension is that they’ve known each other in previous lifetimes. And they weren’t always a gay couple, which creates a sense of depth that makes the reader read between the lines. And I love that. I like thinking while I’m reading, and I like when authors take me to another level. In many ways, I found this book to ride that thin line of paranormal romance and literary fiction for this very reason.

And I laughed, which doesn’t always happen. The book has camp, wit, and humor, and I can only surmise that this comes naturally to Dan Stone, because making these elements work in fiction can’t be faked or forced. But more than that, I love the way the romance and the love scenes balance the humor. It’s all crafted with care, and I believe that Dan Stone is one very good example of a new generation of gay writers that’s beginning to emerge.

The storyline moves along without any lulls, there is a sense of conflict from the beginning to the end, and the voice, most of all, is clear and smart and likeable. By the time I’d reached the middle of the book, I knew that I’d be carrying these characters with me for long time. My only regret with this review is that I can’t go into details about the ending, because that would spoil things for other readers.

I’d also like to mention the publisher, Lethe Press. I’ve been following them for a long time. I interviewed the Senior Editor a while back for http://www.bestgayblogs.com/, and this is the first chance I’ve had to read any of their books. And now that I know what to expect, I’m going to be reading more in the future.