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Book Review: Let's Shut Out the World by Kevin Bentley

 
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Book Review: Let's Shut Out the World by Kevin Bentley

Book Info

About the Author
Kevin Bentley is the author of Wild Animals I Have Known: Polk Street Diaries and After and Let’s Shut Out the World, a collection of memoirs, both available from Chelsea Station Editions. He edited the anthologies Boyfriends from Hell, Sex by the Book, and After Words: Real Sex From Gay Men’s Diaries, and also authored Sailor: Vintage Photos of a Masculine Icon. His writing has appeared in various anthologies and in Poz, Out, ZYZZYVA, and Chelsea Station magazine. He lives with his husband, Paul, in San Francisco.
Publication Date
May 13, 2016
Pages
196
Content Warning
Explicit Sexual Content
ISBN
978-1-937627-29-4
ASIN
B01GGRJNQM
Bitingly funny and at times harrowingly sad, Let's Shut Out the World traces the man-hungry and misanthropic journey of an intensely bibliophilistic young man following his natural bent from a desolate Texas landscape of tumbleweeds, Jesus freaks, and compliant straight boys to the gay capital of San Francisco in pursuit of sex, drugs, a lover, and more. Whether describing having his hair styled by a gang of eighth-grade bullies; staging a Satan festival in the main hall of Greenvale High complete with black robes, black candles, and raw chickens; succumbing to a sneezing fit inside the healing Sanctuary at Chimayo; or indulging in inappropriate sex with a caregiver, Bentley writes with a pen dipped in blood, indignation, and grim whimsy. Let's Shut Out the World is both prequel and sequel to the author's rough-and-ready romantic escapades detailed in his diaries, the Lambda Literary Award finalist for memoir, Wild Animals I Have Known."

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Review by Tracy C Muth
Overall 
 
5.0
**copy provided by publisher via Divine Magazine in exchange for an honest review*

When I finished Kevin Bentley's Memoir, "Wild Animals I Have Known: Polk Street Diaries And After", I immediately asked for this book, unfortunately because of my reading schedule I was unable to dive right in. I absolutely loved the first book, but I was left with a huge book hangover. Nothing I tried to read satisfied me. I was stuck in a rut and wanting to know so much more about where Kevin came from and where he ended up. I knew the basics, he comes from El Paso, Texas, part of the Bible 
Belt, A place very unforgiving of homosexuality. I know he ends up in San Francisco in 1977 and eventually married to his now husband, Paul. I knew about all his drug use, sexual exploits and also about the not one, but two men he loved deeply, who were both heartbreaking lost to the AIDS epidemic along with the slew of his friends, sexual partners, acquaintances and neighbors who also succumbed to this horrible disease.  

These essays, a prequel and sequel to the original memoir, offered me what I was so badly craving. A deeper look at the time in his life before he left for California. His first exploits into sex and drugs. A closer look at Jack and Richard, the aforementioned lovers and of course how he met and fell in love with Paul and a small look at their life together. 

These 13 essays are just as riveting and entertaining as his memoir. While profoundly more serious in places and somewhat sadder, they are still told with Mr. Bentley's charming wit and humor. I think this continuation of his story offered me the closure I so desperately needed to move on. Highly recommended!!
TC
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