Sebastian's Tangibles - Anthea Ingham
Every so often a book comes along that almost defies review! What will you think of this book? I can only suggest that you try it and see. I am immensely grateful that I've read it. I've not been able to put it down- to the extent that I had to lock myself in the bathroom to have the peace I needed for the last few pages.
You will meet memorable characters. You will have the nature of love questioned. You will question what is important in life and what isn't. You will feel elated and deflated in equal measure as does the narrator, Julian Collins, an urbane, remote, gay intellectual, whose life is utterly changed when he meets the young man of the title: Sebastian.
Sebastian. How can you describe someone who doesn't believe in descriptions? Is he a monster? Is he a God? Perhaps it depends what perspective of life you bring to him. He is what he is and makes no apologies for that. He knows that we will see things in him that aren't there, and all he will do is utter that soft, sad, 'Oh, Jules.'
This book manages to achieve something very rare. It has the scholarship of AS Byatt's Possession, whilst at the same time having raunchy gay fuck scenes that will leave you quite unable to appreciate the quality of the writing!
Greed is one of the central features of this book. Be greedy, buy it, and indulge yourself.
Not exactly a love story, more psychological study of a complex relationship between a university English professor, Julian Collins, and his beautiful and brilliant student, Sebastian. What makes this book more interesting is that Julian and Sebastian are viewed through an intriguing relationship between Victorian poet, Max, Lord Melcourt and his mysterious lover, Toto. Increasingly Julian identifies with his literary hero and sees Sebastian in the role of Toto to his Max, a mirror image that has a decided impact upon the rather strange romance that forms the core of the book. Julian, ginger haired, overweight and middle aged, falls totally under the spell of the golden-haired youth, Sebastian, an outrageous flirt whose motives remain muddied to the end. Julian is highly sexed and he makes a devoted and enthusiastic lover, passionately dedicating body and soul to satisfying the promiscuous Sebastian.
The sex between them is intensely erotic and lyrically described. You will not be disappointed if you are looking for the tingle factor. Sebastian has Epicurean tastes. He's a self-proclaimed tart, who seems to prefer food to sex. Julian goes to great lengths and considerable expense to satisfy all of his greedy young lover's appetites. The book is a high calorie gourmet's feast, in which sex competes with food porn to titillate the reader. Sebastian is looking for comfort more than love, whereas Julian seeks grand passion, having overdosed on Melcourt's florid poetry. Julian loves beautiful things and Sebastian is another addition to his collection. Sebastian sees Julian's gifts to him as proof of his love, the 'tangibles' of the title. It's an enjoyable read, with plenty food for thought, concerning the nature of love and truth, giving substance to the unknowable. Or is it just smoke, shadows and mirrors?
It's up to you to decide.
Publisher: GPM. ISBN: 1902852451
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