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Topic: Gaveston Books

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Subject: Gaveston Books
Date Posted: 10/15/2009 1:31 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
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Sorry about the double post. Musta been my trigger finger.

I thought we could start the discussion of Gaveston by Chris Hunt here when Letty's ready.

But I ran into another book with the same title, different author - Gaveston by Stephanie Merritt. Wondering if anyone knows anything about it because I can't for the life of me understand the relevance of the cover of the book. See Amazon ISBN 0571210554.

The book cover shows 2 guys making out in the backseat of a car. Huh? This is supposed to be medieval times, or am I missing sumthin?

Has anyone ready any *good* literature about Gaveston and Edward II?



Last Edited on: 10/15/09 1:34 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/15/2009 1:35 PM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2007
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Uh, that one person is a woman.

Date Posted: 10/15/2009 1:53 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
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Genie,  I should be finished  by tomorrow.

Date Posted: 10/15/2009 4:26 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
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LOL, Erika! I kept looking and I thought it looked like a woman. So, now I'm really confused. Can anyone shed light on how Merritt's Gaveston related to Edward II?

Date Posted: 10/15/2009 4:29 PM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2007
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Did a google search, looks like it's kind of an "updated" version.  A (not so glowing) review is here.

PS, definitely a woman.

Date Posted: 10/15/2009 7:41 PM ET
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You got that right. LOL! It sounds awful.

Thanks for the links.

Date Posted: 10/15/2009 11:46 PM ET
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Hello,   Well I am finished, I will have to stand by my past statement,  Gay erotica dressed up in historical fiction drag.   I was unable to care one way or another about Piers and Edward and I wanted to.   I wanted the love story.  I'm not good at expressing my thoughts, thats why I admire those who can.  I would send this book to Cathy M. tomorrow just for the pure joy it would bring me to read her review of it. (Yes that is an offer Cathy) 

Date Posted: 10/16/2009 6:54 AM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
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Uh oh, that's like offering crack to an addict

Sounds like it might be almost as much as as That Tudor Vampire Book (and that was pretty bad). Volcano of honey. Yikes.

Date Posted: 10/16/2009 2:18 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
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Here's the review I wrote for my old blog:

Told from Edward II’s point of view, Gaveston relates the life of his friend and lover from the time of his arrival in England as a teenager until his murder during the early years of Edward’s reign. Edward’s attraction is immediate.

Piers Gaveston was the most beautiful creation on God’s earth…. [He] had eyes as green as emeralds and a smile that dazzled like the sun….

But Gaveston’s beauty was to be, in Edward’s eyes, his curse. For as much as Edward loves him, others seethe with anger over his special treatment. They resent the gifts Edward bestows on him. They further blame him for Edward’s inattention to important matters ranging from securing his inheritance to dealing with the Scottish wars.

In time, Edward’s cousin, Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, and Guy de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, conspire to capture and kill Gaveston. But the story doesn’t end quite at this point. There’s a brief accounting of Edward’s later relationship with Hugh le Despenser and a 4-paragraph epilogue on Roger Mortimer’s and Isabelle’s (Edward’s queen) imprisonment of Edward.

While the author’s knowledge of the subject is impressive and her inventions (Thomas’ and Edward’s youthful sexual experiments) make sense in light of the story, I find myself unable to recommend it without qualification except to those who never tire of reading about this time period or these characters.

The problem with the novel is threefold: While well-researched, it never really breaks out of the gay historical romance model. The sex is often, explicit and largely unnecessary. Second, while Edward clearly was a weak ineffectual king, his portrayal as an immature, petulant, sniveling man who can’t get Gaveston’s nether parts out of his head grates.

Third, telling the story from Edward’s point of view sometimes made it farcical. For instance, at the end of a section where Edward tells about leaving England to marry Isabelle, he says, “I simply cannot understand why so many people took offence when I left him [Gaveston] regent in my absence.” While Edward lacked good judgment, this remark makes him stupid.

Date Posted: 10/16/2009 6:49 PM ET
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This is a great review Genie! 

Date Posted: 10/17/2009 9:40 AM ET
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Thanks, Letty. I think with the right editor, Hunt's Gaveston could have been a good novel. But it's too chock full of historical detail to be of much interest to the gay erotica crowd, and too full of unnecessary sex to interest the HF crowd. It's a shame.

Date Posted: 10/17/2009 2:10 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
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Genie,   I agree it needed a good editor.   I read a review on Amazon by Alianore who I believe is the same Alianore who has an amazing blog on Edward II,  She said pretty much what you have said.  I don't have alot of experience with erotica gay or other wise but, I tend to agree with you that  it dosen't really rise (if you'll excuse the expression) to gay erotica.  The history was solid,   this book definitely had a split personality.

Date Posted: 10/17/2009 5:19 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
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I'd love to steal the nether parts comments your review Genie they're priceless. Looking forward to it Lettie and I've got another blogger interested in it as well. I won't name names but she can be a bit irreverent at times.  That said, all of my purchase requests to the library that have been languishing for weeks if not months are all coming home to roost very soon. I shall be quite buried in reading for some time to come.

Date Posted: 10/17/2009 9:11 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
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Steal away, Misfit. I'd be honored. (:

Date Posted: 10/19/2009 10:05 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
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Excellent review, Genie! I thought about buying this book many times, but I always put it off because I knew one of you would eventually take the plunge, read it, and then let me know if it's worth the cash. Now, I know I can pull this one from my AZN wishlist and buy something else.

Subject: Page 101
Date Posted: 11/4/2009 9:05 PM ET
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I have reached the *volcano of honey* moment and can take no more. Thoughts tomorrow.

Date Posted: 11/5/2009 8:02 AM ET
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A moment worth waiting for, I'm sure.

:)

Date Posted: 11/5/2009 9:52 AM ET
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Here you go.

BTW, the volcano of honey comes from That Tudor Vampire Book. There was a love scene wherein the hero makes the comment, "Whoa, volcano of honey."

Priceless.

Date Posted: 11/5/2009 1:09 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
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So, I guess you didn't like it.

ROTFL!

I seriously think the book was written for the m/m historical romance genre. Guess you had your fill, huh?

Little correction to the link to Cathy's review.

Date Posted: 11/5/2009 1:52 PM ET
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Love the review, and I'm sending spackel to fix wall.:P

Date Posted: 11/5/2009 2:34 PM ET
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Genie, thanks for fixing the link. I'm pretty sure this was intended as a romantic sex free for all for the M/M audience. There is just waaaaay too much of it and I didn't even get very far. Especially since his foray with a FEMALE prostitute was behind closed doors, but his later one with the young male prostitutes was described in such detail. Ick, I don't know how you and Jerelyn made it through the whole book.

Please send spackel ;)

Date Posted: 11/5/2009 2:59 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
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Cathy,

I put it down just when you did, but then Genie and Valli wanted to (torture) I mean give my opinion I felt I should finish.  We should write a Chicken Soup for the abused Soul of Historical Fiction readers, to be read after a particularly bad read.  Do you need a spackel knife as well?;)

Date Posted: 11/6/2009 9:22 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
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Well, you all ought to know by now that I tend toward off-the-beaten-path fiction. But, OK, yeah, this one was pretty far afield.

Date Posted: 11/7/2009 7:03 AM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
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I have a spackel knife, thank you. I can't believe the rest of you managed to finish it. That takes some willpower.