Book Reviews of Minions of the Moon

Minions of the Moon
Minions of the Moon
Author: Richard Bowes
ISBN-13: 9780312872281
ISBN-10: 0312872283
Publication Date: 2/5/2000
Pages: 320
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.

4.1 stars, based on 4 ratings
Publisher: Tor Books
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

4 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Minions of the Moon on + 26 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Wow. This was great. I love this book and want to keep it and pass it on to my best friends. I felt as dark as the main character the entire time I was reading it - I live in sunny optimistic California - what's up with that? Very powerful writing that left me with a decidedly disturbed feeling that took a few days to dissipate.
reviewed Minions of the Moon on + 19 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book is actually really interesting and different. It's about the somewhat surreal coming of age of a gay male. It's sort of magical realism meets urban New York gritty.
reviewed Minions of the Moon on + 32 more book reviews
Ten years have passed since I read this novel, yet I remember well the enthralling soul struggle of the central character. I have never read, before or since, any well-written fiction about a self-aware survivor of the life of a young sex hustler--preyed and preying on the "chickenhawks" of a big city. Richard Bowes uses just enough fantasy to tell a realistic story that rings more true than realism alone might have.

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"This is powerful fiction....For the elegance of the prose, the depth of the characterization, the sheer bravado and poignant grace of the story itself, Bowes a class of his own....Minions of the Moon is about growing up gay, growing up addicted, growing up Irish, growing up poor, growing up confused--in short, growing up." --Charles de Lint

"A terrific piece of storytelling, which reminded me...both of Stephen King and of Jonathan Carroll, spooky, strange, and unsettling." --Neil Gaiman

"Gripping, hard-hitting, magical, and utterly unique, Minions of the Moon is one of the very best books I have read in years." --Terry Windling

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An excerpt from this novel, "Streetcar Dreams," won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novella, 1998.

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In the following scene, Bowes explains the title of the book. Our protagonist, a young hustler, has been picked up at the Y by a female acquaintance, Stacey, and led to a Victorian mansion, where he is ushered into the presence of a mysterious older man named Dr. X.

Dr. X: "Stacey said you were acting. What play?"

Self-consciousness seized me. "Henry the Fourth. It's pretty stupid. Just school."

"It's a great play!" He put the vial in his pocket. "It's about the demimonde." He waved his arm to indicate his house, the three of us. "About the street and rich people slumming. Wonderful lines! Falstaff says, 'Let us be Diana's foresters, gentlemen of the shade, minions of the moon.'"

"I just have a small part, Poins. He's a--."

"Poins!" Dr. X slapped his hands together. "Poins is the knife, the street trickster. Even Falstaff is wary of him. Poins is some kind of disinherited son. He and Prince Hal are very young. Boys are natural street people, powerless, disposable. Poins disappears from the play because that's what happens to people like him.

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[And here is my published review from December 1998]

When customers seek their memories in Half Remembered Things, Kevin Grierson's New York shop, they gawk at the price tags attached to the toys of their childhood. Kevin reflects, "The past is always just a bit more expensive than we thought possible."

And so it is for Kevin, a successful middle-aged antiques dealer whose past is exacting a price: he journeys down dark memories of peddling his young body to strangers, destroying himself with booze and speed, striving to become predator rather than prey on the streets of New York in the '60s. The problem, as he sees it, is that his Shadow--more than an alternate self but less than an independent doppelganger--is the bad guy, the one who wants to bring back the old habits. But the Shadow is not purely evil, and Kevin is not purely good. The two of them have much to learn if they ever hope to be reconciled.

Minions of the Moon is an absorbing, beautifully wrought novel of dark fantasy, its complex web of stories told in interweaving strands, its dreamlike images balanced by a clean, matter-of-fact prose style.

--Fiona Webster

My Bookshelf
(which has a bunch of yummy stuff,
but sorry, this book isn't there anymore)
reviewed Minions of the Moon on + 307 more book reviews
Author won a World Fantasy Award. Story is dark and disturbing. Set in Boston and New York. Does everyone have a 'shadow' - a part of themselves living separately but connected - but only a 'gifted' few can see theirs? Or is it a form of split personality, mental illness, or a result of drug abuse? Or are these different people, maybe not even human? A boy watches his mother spiral out of control, he sees her shadow when no one else does, and then can't stop himself being attracted to the danger and thrills offered by his own shadow. As an adult, finally sober, he has to face the consequences of his degradation and sins of his youth before meeting his now fully debauched shadow one last time.