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Show me the books he loves and I shall know the man far better than through mortal friends - Silas Weir Mitchell
I still remember that first night, when I put down my first G.A. Hauser's book, For Love and Money, how my feelings were are conflicting, first of all the language, a mix of English and American slang, mostly English, that for me rang strange, and the characters, so unrepentant and without shame. I didn't know at the time that I was starting a "reading" relationship with a full pletora of these anti-heroes, trademark of a G.A. Hauser's DOC. So it's with a real pleasure that I'm posting G.A. Hauser's list, maybe we will be able to understand from where those naughty guys come from ;-)

I suppose like most M/M readers, I struggled to find the novels that I craved. Perhaps this is why many of us write what we do today.

A few novels I have read in the past have tantalized me and given me the desire to keep searching for what I was missing. Unfortunately this list was short, and as I see from previous posts, many of us had read the same novels. It’s ironic that a few authors broke the barrier for us, and they have influenced so many of today’s contemporary writers of the genre.

My list includes non-fiction, for there were a few books of historical significance that also had an influence on me, verifying facts of nature and life that I truly believe are part of every human. Normal and Healthy behavior.

Though this list does not include every author who made an impression on me, it does list most of the ones whom I loved and admired.


1) Mary Renault, The Persian Boy. Which writer of gay erotica has not read this fabulous tale of lust from the queen of gay literature? Mary Renault was so far ahead of her time, that no one quite got the fact that she was writing gay fiction, or surely she would have been censored. Out of her Alexander trilogy, this is by far my favorite.

Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Vintage (February 12, 1988)
Publisher Link: http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780394751016
ISBN-10: 0394751019
ISBN-13: 978-0394751016
Amazon: The Persian Boy

“It takes skill to depict, as Miss Renault has done, this half-man, half Courtesan who is so deeply in love with the warrior.”–The Atlantic Monthly. The Persian Boy traces the last years of Alexander’s life through the eyes of his lover, Bagoas. Abducted and gelded as a boy, Bagoas was sold as a courtesan to King Darius of Persia, but found freedom with Alexander after the Macedon army conquered his homeland. Their relationship sustains Alexander as he weathers assassination plots, the demands of two foreign wives, a sometimes-mutinous army, and his own ferocious temper. After Alexander’s mysterious death, we are left wondering if this Persian boy understood the great warrior and his ambitions better than anyone.

2) Anne Rice, Cry To Heaven. What was it about those castrati? Tonio’s sexual encounters with men after he became a eunuch, his affair with a Cardinal were all so shocking and delightfully sacrilegious. It was after this novel I went slightly crazy looking for more. Nothing came close at the time to the teasing prose of Anne Rice’s darkness and sorrow. So I read this book again and again. Her characters had a profound influence on me.

Mass Market Paperback: 576 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books (April 1, 1995)
Publisher Link: http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780345396938
ISBN-10: 0345396936
ISBN-13: 978-0345396938
Amazon: Cry to Heaven

In this mesmerizing novel, the acclaimed author of THE VAMPIRE CHRONICLES and the LIVES OF THE MAYFAIR WITCHES makes real for us the exquisite and otherworldly society of the eighteenth-century castrati, the delicate and alluring male sopranos whose graceful bodies and glorious voices brought them the adulation of the royal courts and grand opera houses of Europe, men who lived as idols, concealing their pain as they were adored as angels, yet shunned as half-men. As we are drawn into their dark and luminous story, as the crowds of Venetians, Neopolitans, and Romans, noblemen and peasants, musicians, prelates, princes, saints, and intriguers swirl around them, Anne Rice brings us into the sweep of eighteenth-century Italian life, into the decadence beneath the shimmering surface of Venice, the wild frivolity of Naples, and the magnetic terror of its shadow, Vesuvius. It is a novel that only Anne Rice could have written, taking us into a heartbreaking and enchanting moment in history, a time of great ambition and great suffering--a tale that challenges our deepest images of the masculine and the feminine. "To read Anne Rice is to become giddy as if spinning through the mind of time." --San Francisco Chronicle. "Dazzling in its darkness...Spellbinding." --The New York Times

3) The Orton Diaries, edited by John Lahr. Joe Orton. What more can be said? No this isn’t fiction, but it reads like it is. I wonder what Orton would have accomplished if he had not been murdered by his lover Kenneth Halliwell in 1967? Joe Orton’s plays had me riveted to the pages. Again I thought, did he dare? Did he make that young man gay in this play? Does anyone know? If they knew would they allow it to be put on in a theater? The secrecy of his character’s desires, the hidden life Orton himself led, all fascinated me. Call it sordid, call it mad, but I gobbled up every word written by Joe Orton and I hope he is never forgotten.

Paperback: 310 pages
Publisher: Da Capo Press (August 21, 1996)
Publisher Link: http://www.perseusbooksgroup.com/dacapo/book_detail.jsp?isbn=0306807335
ISBN-10: 0306807335
ISBN-13: 978-0306807336
Amazon: The Orton Diaries

”To be young, good-looking, healthy, famous, comparatively rich and happy is surely going against nature.” When Joe Orton (1933–1967) wrote those words in his diary in May 1967, he was being hailed as the greatest comic playwright since Oscar Wilde for his darkly hilarious Entertaining Mr. Sloane and the farce hit Loot, and was completing What the Butler Saw; but less than three months later, his longtime companion, Kenneth Halliwell, smashed in Orton’s skull with a hammer before killing himself. The Orton Diaries, written during his last eight months, chronicle in a remarkably candid style his outrageously unfettered life: his literary success, capped by an Evening Standard Award and overtures from the Beatles; his sexual escapades—at his mother's funeral, with a dwarf in Brighton, and, extensively, in Tangiers; and the breakdown of his sixteen-year "marriage" to Halliwell, the relationship that transformed and destroyed him. Edited with a superb introduction by John Lahr, The Orton Diaries is his crowning achievement.

4) Thomas Mann, Death in Venice. Both this novel and the movie surprised me. Could it have been written in 1925? Again, the risk the author had taken in a society that shunned homosexuality, astounded me. Even as I watched the film with Dirk Bogarde I kept asking myself if this man was really lusting after a young boy. It was inconceivable to me that it was such a controversial story, yet possibly because the love had never been consummated it was forgiven. Call it what you like, but again, this story intrigued me.

Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: Harper Perennial (May 31, 2005)
Publisher Link: http://www.harpercollins.com/books/9780060576172/Death_in_Venice/index.aspx
ISBN-10: 0060576170
ISBN-13: 978-0060576172
Amazon: Death in Venice

The world-famous masterpiece by Nobel laureate Thomas Mann -- here in a new translation by Michael Henry Heim. Published on the eve of World War I, a decade after Buddenbrooks had established Thomas Mann as a literary celebrity, Death in Venice tells the story of Gustav von Aschenbach, a successful but aging writer who follows his wanderlust to Venice in search of spiritual fulfillment that instead leads to his erotic doom. In the decaying city, besieged by an unnamed epidemic, he becomes obsessed with an exquisite Polish boy, Tadzio. "It is a story of the voluptuousness of doom," Mann wrote. "But the problem I had especially in mind was that of the artist's dignity."

5) Royston Lambert , Beloved and God. This story is historical, not fiction, yet like Death in Venice, it is the same theme. Older men lusting after younger men. Alexander and his Persian boy were not the only ancient heroes to add fuel to this fire. Hadrian and Antinous did as well. Hadrian loved this boy from Bithynia so much, he became obsessed with him. As the story goes, and it reads like a hot murder mystery, Hadrian took this boy from his family to be his. As Antinous grew up, he must have wanted to be on his own because suddenly he was found dead in the Nile. Hadrian was suspected of his murder, but after the boy’s death, Hadrian makes Antinous a god. Antinous’ likeness is everywhere in Italy’s museums. I searched for him myself and was stunned how easily I could recognize this young god. I don’t know what it is about this tale, but it fascinates me, and I am drawn to everything about it.

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson History (July 14, 1997)
ISBN-10: 1857999444
ISBN-13: 978-1857999440
Amazon: Beloved and God: Story of Hadrian and Antinous (Phoenix Giants)

Who was Antonius? Why did he become a God? in Beloved and God, Royston Lambert tackles all the mysteries the story presents. With many illustations of the people and places concerned in the affair and of the splendid and fascinating artefacts which it produced, this account, based on thorough research, is a compelling read.

6) Penelope Gilliatt, Sunday Bloody Sunday. A screenplay and a film, Sunday Bloody Sunday is about a love triangle between two men and a woman. Alex Greville, the woman, and Dr. Daniel Hirsh, are both older, single, childless individuals who have been smitten by the charm of a handsome younger man, Bob Elkin. There is no secrecy, as Bob is very open about his attraction for both, and Alex and Daniel have met, and there is no animosity between them. What draws me to this story is Bob Elkin. He is so like my main characters in his aloofness and charismatic appeal, he can easily be Mark Richfield. So many romance readers crave the Mr. Perfect leading male. Ms. Gilliatt and I know that man does not exist. She, as I, portrays her man as he is. Slightly selfish, never succumbing to commitment, and though he loves deeply, he’s always a fingertip away. I love this film/screenplay. It is moving in so many ways.

Paperback
Publisher: Dodd Mead (May 1986)
ISBN-10: 0396085393
ISBN-13: 978-0396085393
Amazon: Sunday Bloody Sunday: The Original Screenplay of the John Schlesinger Film

7) James Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room. Though this book upset me on completion, I can’t help but see its contribution to the genre of gay literature. Here is a black, gay man, writing about white gay men in the nineteen fifties. That took guts. This book immediately foreshadowed gloom when I began it, and dread held me throughout. Though it was about gay love, it angered me. I told myself my lovers would not deny their affection, would not be punished for their love, nor would they die. This book influenced me to show that same sex love does not always have to be sad or have dire consequences.

Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Delta (June 13, 2000)
ISBN-10: 0385334583
ISBN-13: 978-0385334587
Amazon: Giovanni's Room

Set in the 1950s Paris of American expatriates, liaisons, and violence, a young man finds himself caught between desire and conventional morality. With a sharp, probing imagination, James Baldwin's now-classic narrative delves into the mystery of loving and creates a moving, highly controversial story of death and passion that reveals the unspoken complexities of the human heart.

8) Anne Rampling, Exit to Eden. Yes, I know this is Anne Rice again, but wow, the chapter where Elliot participates in the sports arcade? How hot is that? Though the novel is written as a straight love story, some of the gay scenes are truly thrilling. Elliot is allowed to pick out the man he wrestles with. And this isn’t your average wrestling match. It was a scene I relived in my head many times, and inspired some delightful scenes of my own.

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Avon Red; Reprint edition (September 25, 2007)
Publisher Link: http://www.harpercollins.com/books/9780061233494/Exit_to_Eden/index.aspx
ISBN-10: 0061233498
ISBN-13: 978-0061233494
Amazon: Exit to Eden

They call her the Perfectionist. A stunning, mysterious, and fearless sexual adventurer, Lisa is founder and supreme mistress of The Club—an exclusive island resort where forbidden fantasy meets willing flesh. Here eager participants who can afford life's most exquisite luxuries can experience the breathtaking pleasures of surrender and submission. Here nothing is taboo. A thrill-seeking photojournalist, Elliott risks his life daily in the most dangerous, war-torn regions on Earth. Now he has come to Paradise to explore his darkest sexual self, committed to the ultimate plunge into personal risk. Together, their journey to the limits of erotic pleasure will take them farther than they ever dreamed they'd go . . .

9) Edmund White, A Boy’s Own Story. I suppose this list wouldn’t be complete without an Edmond White mention. I always found his work to be slightly confusing, yet strangely compelling. His work is composed of flowing prose that I can never hope to achieve, nor, I suppose, do I want to. White’s books are intellectually inspiring, delving more into the emotions than the carnal lust. However, this novel was one of my very first gay romance novels. So it needs to be on this list.

Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics); Reprint edition (February 24, 2009)
Publisher Link: http://us.penguingroup.com/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780143114840,00.html?A_Boy's_Own_Story_Edmund_White
ISBN-10: 0143114840
ISBN-13: 978-0143114840
Amazon: A Boy's Own Story: A Novel

Originally published in 1982 as the first of Edmund White’s trilogy of autobiographical novels, A Boy’s Own Story became an instant classic for its pioneering portrayal of homosexuality. The book’s unnamed narrator, growing up during the 1950s, is beset by aloof parents, a cruel sister, and relentless mocking from his peers, compelling him to seek out works of art and literature as solace—and to uncover new relationships in the struggle to embrace his own sexuality. Lyrical and poignant, with powerful evocations of shame and yearning, this is an American literary treasure.

10) Hard Hats, edited by Neil Plakcy (Gay Erotic Short Stories). And my last entry- gay shorts. How far we’ve come! This is a sexually charged package of terrific fun short stories. It’s raw and open like a gay porn movie, but yet some tales are moving. It’s a big change from the AIDS inspired anthologies of the eighties and nineties, and brings new life to a growing field of erotic writing. The evolution of the gay novel has inspired me yet again, but with the new authors and brilliant romance stories should come an awakening from society. They say art imitates life. How I wish that were true. I can only hope that the more gay romance writers that flood the market, the more awareness of the fact that love is a good thing and not something to be hidden.

Paperback: 265 pages
Publisher: Cleis Press (March 18, 2008)
Publisher Link: http://www.cleispress.com/book_page.php?book_id=238
ISBN-10: 1573443123
ISBN-13: 978-1573443128
Amazon: Hard Hats: Gay Erotic Stories

What is it about a hot guy with a tool belt? With their natural brand of macho, the sheen of honest sweat on flesh, and the enticements of hammers and pneumatic drills, men with tool belts rank among the hottest icons in gay erotic fantasy. This collection of 21 stories celebrates those hardworking, hard-bodied hunks who construct our buildings, connect our cable TVs, and fix our furnaces. Ride to the top of an unfinished high rise for a raunchy steel-beam encounter. Head to the country where a road repair crew breaks in the new guy. Hang out with a lusty landscaper or sneak into the construction site RV for a quickie. Editor Neil Plakcy, a former construction site boss himself, has tapped the best of today's erotica writers for the steamy salute to those irresistible symbols of masculinity who keep the world tuned up—and turned on.

I wish all the authors out there in the gay erotica community continue to write and battle ignorance. It’s what we do best.

About G.A. Hauser: “I was born in the shadow of the Manhattan skyline in the suburbs of New Jersey in the sleepy town of Fair Lawn. I graduated Fair Lawn High and went to college in Manhattan at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and graduated with honors with bachelor's degree at William Paterson College. After graduating with a degree in Fine Arts I gave up the idea of being a starving artist and headed for Seattle. For over a decade I lived in Rain City, and the last eight of those I wore a blue police uniform working for the Seattle Police Department as a patrol officer. I’ve been writing since 1990 but it wasn’t until I reached the wet British Isles that I published my first book, In The Shadow of Alexander. I lived in Hertfordshire, England for six years and from there I was able to travel and see the wonders of the world. I am back in the good ol’ USA once again and believe me, there’s no place like home.” G.A. Hauser

A Man's Best Friend by G.A. Hauser
Paperback: 252 pages
Publisher: The GA Hauser Collection (November 9, 2009)
Buy Link: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-amansbestfriend-395541-144.html
ISBN-10: 1449592775
ISBN-13: 978-1449592776
Amazon: A Man's Best Friend 

Ronnie Caruso wanted to be a father, so badly he ached. Ever since he could remember, the idea of having children was of paramount importance in his life. There was one little problem to his plan of matrimony and offspring, he was terrified of commitment, and…he wasn’t sure he was truly interested in being intimate with a woman. As Ronnie debated thoughts of adoption, surrogacy and unplanned pregnancy, two things happened in his life; he met an incredible woman, Carrie Archer, and his best friend Heath Sherwood seduced him when he was drunk at a wild party. The morning-after filled Ronnie with regrets. Ironically, not regretting being sexual with his best friend Heath, but the fear that he was going to want that man in his life, permanently. The big ‘C’- Commitment. Heath had no hesitation to give Ronnie his heart. He told Ronnie he was in love with him since they met, and Heath also knew it was the physical part of their connection that Ronnie craved as much as he craved fatherhood. As Carrie begins to win Ronnie’s attention with her kindness and warmth, Ronnie still keeps her at arm’s length. If he chose Carrie to be his partner it would dissolve his inner fears of everything that came with an alternative lifestyle. Ronnie hated conflict. All he wanted was for life to be easy, to be happy, to have a baby, and that included enjoying the devotion of his best friend. Was that too much for any man to ask? Unfortunately it was. And jealousy and doubt began to rear its ugly head.

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