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Posted by on Jul 12, 2015 in Literature |

Book Review: Whistling in The Dark

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Firstly, I’d like to express gratitude toward a special friend, for alarming me about Tamara Allen’s Whistling in The Dark. I may not appreciate it as much as she did, but I’m happy I get the opportunity to peruse this sweet gay sentiment. By “sweet”, I imply that sexual scenes are not graphic in details for this particular book.

Set in 1919, we see Sutton Albright, a previous soldier whose service term was rashly and prematurely ended after he was discovered taking part in an extramarital entanglements with his educator. He chooses to attempt his fortunes at New York, resolved to make it by one means or another in that huge city. At that point we have Jack Bailey, attempting to spare his late folks’ business, even when he presumably doesn’t have the cash or capacity to do as such. Encompassed by a cast of beautiful characters prepared to break out with pom-poms when needed, these two will participate in angst and become hopelessly enamored with each other.

The setting is astonishingly nitty gritty, from the depiction of spots to the combination of occasions of that time, (for example, seasonal influenza, the ascent of the radio, and the underground universe of the gays in the city). However, one thing that truly emerges when I read this story is the manner by which I discover its pace to be – very slow. Ms Allen has a tendency to spend words after words working over each and every little thing included in her characters to the point that it is as though she’s resolved to tell readers of everything that her characters experience, regardless of whether the scene being referred to does not even play any huge effect on the general story line. The story moves far too slowly for me – it’s similar to watching a five-hour long stretch show made by some film understudy with more yearning for significance and for showing-off than the capacity to self-edit.

But then again, that is how Ms. Allen writes. Because she wants readers to be focused on her characters, that are simply not your typical romantic characters. They are both males, and that is something society does not easily accept, therefore making Ms. Allen feel the need to make sure they are well drawn in the minds of the readers.

The setting is a rarely used one, and I really appreciate that about this book. However, despite the new setting, the “love” story in this particular setting is still almost typical and almost the same with ¬†other “love” stories, which I understand, are harder to make unique because love stories are difficult to renew, especially because there are a lot of it out there already.

The front cover is stunning too, if I may add.

Overall, this book is not as great as other works by Ms. Allen but it is still her book and I really still find it worth the read, not just because she is one of my favorite writers, but because she is brave enough to focus on these kinds of stories.