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Great stories should not depend on gender or sexual preference of a character, but instead upon the strength of the characters and the honesty and urgency of the story.
Brandon Shire proves he understands the complexity of writing LGBT fiction from two very different viewpoints – serious and smexy. His serious fiction is written for those who enjoy a book which explores life’s darker elements in a more literary form, while the smexy fiction is for those who enjoy a graphically erotic romance.
Regardless of the differentiation above, Brandon writes for people who enjoy being challenged, and for those who strive to understand situations they don’t typically encounter. He pens raw, emotional stories about characters which readers will either love or love to hate.
Life and love are pretty damned special, but neither is always perfect. Life can be painful, and real love hard to find. Brandon’s fiction is an exploration of the (sometimes) arduous search for the happiness we all desire.
BRANDON SHIRE was chosen as a Top Read in 2011, Best in LGBTQ Fiction for 2011 & 2012, and won a Rainbow Award for Best Gay Contemporary Fiction.
on Jan. 23, 2012 :
This book is totally absorbing. Though the storyline took me places I've never been, the human experiences, the feelings of adolescent love, the pain and anguish of loss, the tortures and torments of life, the rare second chances, the discovery of the beauty and wonders of life and love, are all things I could relate to. Once I started the book, it captivated me, took over my imagination, held me captive until the end. I'm aglow with the warmth and life in its pages, words and images. One of the best books I've read in a long, long time.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)
on Aug. 26, 2011 :
"There are dead people in my head." From the opening line to last, The Value of Rain by Brandon Shire seizes your heart and does not let go, even long after the book is closed. The story of a family that fuses love to hatred and life to death and rolls those two fusions together, so that it is impossible to ever separate them. Though only a few scenes take place in New Orleans, The Value of Rain echoes the southern gothic tradition, entangled and hidden bloodlines and all. Indeed Flannery O'Connor and Eudora Welty would be comfortable in this world, and would be envious of the writer. The characters are strong in their weaknesses, and their strengths always betray them. A first act of physical love propels a young boy from his already precarious existence into the living hell of a psychiatric hospital for a hideous 'cure' for his gayness. Charles's non-chronological narrative of his journey through that hell, and all that follows, is told with an unerring eye for detail, both physical and emotional. The Value of Rain also shows the strong emotionally warping effect of revenge; given the chance to escape, to just be loved for himself, Charles finds he can not let go of the emotional and deadly pas de deux with his mother Charlotte. This is a lyrically beautiful book, masterfully woven with intense emotion, insightful and frightening in its clarity.
(reviewed the day of purchase)