2 out of 4 stars
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The Circuitous Route by Grant Sutor Vuille is a compilation of four one-act plays, two screenplays, and a novelette, all written by the same person. The Circuitous Route contains stories inspired by the queer community and set in the late 90s. This book exhibits the lives of homosexuals during those times and the chokehold the AIDS virus had them all in.
The book begins with the first story, Aquamarine, where two childhood friends reconnect on their way to their special place. In the second one, a sick lover has to deal with his fun-loving boyfriend and the killer virus, AIDS. The third story is a fantastical one of fairies, dragons, evil queens, and a nerdy Knight who saves the day.
Shamus receives a mandate from God after a series of heartbreaks and leads the queer community. Tulip has to deal with a lecherous agent, a psychotic boyfriend, and directors who insist on giving her sex roles because of her physical appearance and a terrifying earthquake as well. And in Vapid, an egotistical actress saves an abused guy only to add him to her retinue of boy toys.
This book had some positive aspects for me. Firstly the book used rhymes and word plays which I did find interesting. Again, the book portrayed pretty well the lives of homosexuals in that era, the terror, confusion, and confusion the unusual disease AIDS brought. The theories that followed included it being seen as 'the homosexual's disease' brought about as a punishment from God. I also liked how the author fused fiction and fantasy in the third story.
The book did have its negative aspects, though. In some stories, ideas were overlapped and not properly distinguished. This was quite confusing. In Shamus Dagray, for instance, there were a lot of transitions made by the main character and no clear connection between them. So, one moment he was being born, and the next, he was talking to God about angels of death.
Again, the book portrayed the Christian God in a quite offensive manner. For instance, on page 242, God becomes a cursing-foulmouthed deity who declares that he had made a mistake in the words of the Christian Holy Book. Finally, the book was not properly edited, and I found quite a lot of errors in it.
I would give this book a rating of 2 out of 4 stars. I did not rate it higher because of the negative aspects mentioned above. I did not rate it lower because I found the book enlightening at some points.
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the history of the LGBTQ community and the impact of the AIDS virus on the community. I would also recommend it to anyone who wants to know more about the issues commonly faced by the members of the LGBTQ community.
The Circuitous Route
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