Perfectly harmless fluff If you re interested in Alaska, so much the better. Selfish and Perverse is smart and funny with a romantic core that is as expansive as the Alaskan wilderness in which much of the improbable plot takes place.I have Bob Smith s Remembrance of Things I Forgot on my Kindle and had been waiting for his other books to appear on Kindle Finally, I couldn t wait any longer and ordered the actual print books Selfish and Perverse is the first of these.Nelson Kunkle, the narrator and chief protagonist, is very likely Bob himself, tweaked to fit the reality of this celebrated gay stand up comic into the screwball sex comedy of the plotline He is by turns endearing and irritating even to himself and the book follows him on a literal voyage of self discovery as he heads into the Alaskan bush on the heels of a boyfriend, Roy, who might well become something.I laughed out loud while reading this book, something that is a precious gift and makes me envious But for all its light comic tone, this is a serious look at the nature of commitment the nature of ambition and the potential for a physical setting to profoundly affect one s heart and mind in equal measure.To cite another title of one of Smith s booksWay to go Smith. Nelson Kunker Is Trapped In His Job As The Script Supervisor On Aftertaste, The Low Rated Late Night Sketch Television Show His Life In Los Angeles Has Come To A Halt Because He S Unable To Finish The Novel He S Writing, Doesn T Have A Boyfriend, And, At The Pivotal Age Of Thirty Four, Has Reached The Juncture Where He Has To Decide Whether He S Really Talented Or Just Gay One Day He Meets Roy Briggs, A Part Time Salmon Fisherman Full Time Archaeology Student Who S Visiting From Alaska When Nelson Attempts To Make Small Talk With The Handsome Roy, He References An Obscure But Haunting Story About Bowhead Whales That Startles The Science Nerd In Both Men Into Suspecting That They Might Be Soulmates Unfortunately, Nelson Discovers His Soul Is A Bit Of A Slut When He Also Meets The Guest Host Of That Week S Show, The Surprisingly Bookish Movie Star Dylan Fabizak, Freshly Paroled After A Drug Bust When The Three End Up At Roy S Home In Alaska, Hilarity, Love, And Debauchery Ensue Wooed By Both Roy And Dylan, Nelson Comes To Strongly Identify With The Salmon They Are Fishing For Another Insanely Driven Species That Will Overcome Every Hurdle In Its Search For Love This book ended nicely but I was totally bored during the beginning 2 3 of the book The descriptions of the characters were such that I could not form an image of them in my head and I couldn t even remember the names of the characters.I really enjoyed Bob Smith s first memoir and had high hopes for this book Just not what I expected I suppose The ending was descent, but overall the book felt like digging all of Texas for a gold nugget You know you will eventually find it, but is it really worth digging up the entire state A gay romance in which, just as in some slash fanfiction, pretty much everybody s gay I think there are two straight characters in this book The writing is generally good with a few really brilliant bits but Smith apparently feels it necessary to tell us every bit of his research about Alaska and fishing and fishing in Alaska in frequent exposition dumps disguised as pointless and dull conversation The story itself is pure old fashioned romance novel, attempting to update itself, I guess, by having some semi explicit sex I d rate it hard R in the fanfiction world and being, you know, gay, but I don t have any patience for a man repeatedly throwing himself at clearly the Wrong Man than I do for a woman doing the same Then again, if he wasn t, there wouldn t be a story But much trouble would have been saved if Nelson had only possessed the sense God gave a turnip. Bob Smith s debut novel, Selfish and Perverse, is about Nelson Kunker, who lives and works in Los Angeles as a writer s assistant for a show named Aftertaste He hopes to write novels, and wonders if he s stagnating What had me worried was that I was an artsy, thirty four year old man who needed to confront whether I was really talented or just gay That delicious line speaks volumes for and strikes at our notions of gay productivity One liners come easily to Smith, who s better known as an openly gay comedian To his credit, witty observations like this don t stand alone they re fully integrated into a taut narrative filled with, for the most part, skillfully drawn characters.Although Smith s considerable talents are wasted on a standard love story, this is a promising debut and bodes well for an original, inventive and very funny writer Here s my review of the book An enjoyable, funny read.If I were to have just read an overview of the plot, I probably would have skipped this A gay romance between an aspiring writer, an Alaskan fisherman with the complication of a pushy movie star.But, knowing that the author was Bob Smith, I gave it a try I love his non fiction and stand up I was not disappointed He s terribly funny and charming in his writing. This was the perfect book to read coming off of a reading hiatus Bob smith s writing is so engaging and funny, interspersed with profound insight I didn t love this one quite as much as Remembrance of Things I Forgot, but that would ve been nearly impossible This book creates an indelible universe of unique characters and places It is also very sexy. Selfish and Perverse is a captivating, hilarious, very gay and very unique book Smith knows his quirky characters and his settings, Los Angeles and Alaska, inside and out, and manages to make Nelson Kunker endearing, even if he s not the most exciting character in the fabulous first novel That mantle is reserved for his two love interests, the hard to read, smart and cynical yet romantic Alaskan fisherman Roy and the flashy, annoying, but hot movie star Dylan Staring out with the lowly life of a writer s assistant on a show in Hollywood, with a pit stop sinking into the La Brea Tar Pits, then moving on to remote Alaska, Smith captures each milieu and its inhabitants This is also a brilliant book for anyone who s ever written, tried to write, or thought about writing a novel Nelson s ongoing attempts to write, which we mostly hear about from him, and his agony over not having written, make for great fodder in Smith s hands Nelson seems young at times, as he waits for the approval of those around him, and while he ll occasionally throw out a zinger or show his anger, for the most part he s cautious, taking his cues from those around him He has big dreams of writing but is crushed when his boyfriend Roy doesn t ask to read his novel It s also the kind of book that, in the midst of joking around, will bust out with a truthful or heartfelt statement that makes you stop to reread it and fully absorb it There s a tenderness to Smith s sex scenes, as he describes Nelson luxuriating in each vein of Roy s arms, that s sweet and sexy at the same time Nelson seems like an average, insecure guy, and in some ways, he is he lacks the flamboyancy of many of the other characters, and yet its his very fears and uncertainties, his mistakes and meanderings, that make him someone it s a pleasure to spend time getting to know Smith doesn t make anyone here a tragic figure but lets us know that everyone, in their own way, is looking for wholeness, in love and in their careers It s to Smith s credit that he made this reader root for Nelson and Roy, but want Dylan to stick around if only to get in their way and be an annoying, showy, needy guy He s a cheapskate movie star sex addict who needs constant approval and attention, yet I almost felt sorry for him for missing out on the real pleasures of life due to his shallowness Even the minor characters, like Roy s mom, Dee, and Nelson s bitchy funny dyke friend Wendy, are vividly rendered The unusual setting of a fishing town in Alaska makes for vivid imagery and all sorts of interesting details about things like salmon and nagoonberries Smith plays up te drastic differences between Nelson s Alaskan life and LA life, the beauty and newness of one and the ludicrousness of the other.I got caught up in this novel and couldn t put it down, and I certainly hope there s where that came from from Smith. Unfortunately, due to pressure from the author Bob Smith who was unhappy with this review It was removed from the Lambda Literary website The original review is published below Selfish Perverse by Bob SmithPost image for Selfish Perverse by Bob Smithby Aaron Krach on June 23, 2010 7 commentsin FictionFull disclosure I can be very selfish and I have tried my best to be perverse Yet Bob Smith s book makes me feel like a prude.Selfish Perverse is about sex Sex in Alaska, three way sex in Alaska, almost sex in Alaska, and, um, loads of yearning for sex in Alaska.Between lovely descriptions of Alaska s rugged landscape, SP follows three men boys trying to get laid Nelson is a writer, Roy a fisherman, and Dylan an actor But they are all equally horny Except the actor He s also a sex addict so he s the horniest.You think horniest sounds corny Listen to Nelson, the writer He reached down into my underwear, releasing the part of me that lacked a backbone but always had conviction Bob Smith deserves credit for writing a romantic comedy, one of the most difficult genres to pull off He gets props for publishing a reality based book in these vampire ridden times But why did Smith, a successful comedian, TV writer, and author, choose to write about gay men so singularly obsessed with sex Here s the first line of Nelson s un finished novel Todd Greco still felt empty inside even with a big cock up his ass The actor addict responds It s funny but it s the wrong tone Your book s about a family It s not about sex, it s about love Wow That s one seriously weird meta fictional loop The addict knows what kind of book Smith wanted SP to be So why didn t he write that book I know some people think he did Reviews of SP are mostly positive But for me, his characters are unrealistic and the plot is a preposterous love triangle Writer follows fisherman to Alaska Actor addict follows writer and fisherman They smoke pot, have sex, and eat poisonously fermented native plants The end.Smith is a talented writer His dialogue flows and the story moves at a steady clip from one pratfall or seduction to the next It s either calamity or climax for these guys Smith s experience as a stand up comic is obvious The book is filled with one liners, half of which are truly funny And he describes Alaska with enticing details I found myself curious about the state, which post Sarah Palin is an accomplishment Smith should be proud of.But every dozen pages I cringed with embarrassment Listen to Smith describe falling into synch with a new boyfriend Proof of our immediate intimacy was that after spending only two nights with him I lost my usual pee shyness and could take a leak while he stood next to me brushing his teeth Or I recoiled from the character s internalized homophobia I didn t want violent friends, but I was proud that Dylan and Roy were a couple of ass kickin butt fuckers He sported a set of baseball biceps that were remarkable on a man who most likely threw like a girl Which is offensive for being sexist Throwing like a girl is an insult to women who can throw a ball as hard and fast or slow as they want No, I m not being overly sensitive Sexism appears throughout the book Sprouting under Thatcher s lower lip was a patch of hair that made him look as if he had eaten pussy for dinner and dribbled a bit on his chin The seats in the cab were saturated with years of seawater and salmon It smells like mermaid skank, I said, unable to ignore the putrid stench but trying not to sound prissy Really Really Call me crazy, but I believe gay men should be acutely aware of how misogyny works I believe gay men can be better, smarter, and inclusive We can be feminists.Smith is ambitious and talented and he has his fans I m optimistic he will write another, mature and complex book I m hopeful that SP is a story he needed to get out of his system, and next he will write something like what the addict suggests, something that s funny but not about sex about love SELFISH PERVERSEBy Bob SmithAlyson BooksISBN 1593501498Trade paperback, 15.95, 370p.
Bob Smith is a real writer But what readers, gay and straight, will really appreciate are the direct approach and the eye for detail that make this book a touchingly personal document. Smith brings a sensibility and a sensitivity that make this one of the most rewarding gay books of the year Lambda Book Report LY BOB is a dazzlingly funny, semiautobiographical, hardcover one ma
- 304 pages
- Selfish and Perverse
- Bob Smith
- 03 January 2019 Bob Smith