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William King

Pathos by Arthur

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the book reviews and author interview

Pathos
by Arthur.

A story about a rags to riches young teen; he discovers that his world has just changed into something he could never believe would ever happen; especially to a boy in his situation and low station of a life that was meant to be that of a common dancer and rent boy.

Read the story...

 

an extract

After seating himself behind the desk, Leon looked up and smiled at Andre with reassurance.

“I must tell you Andre that I have never in all my life seen such a boy as you, you have good manners, you dance like an angel and your skills in bed are beyond any normal pleasure boy, now, as you saw I am a member of the Council but I am also far more than that, do you know much about politics?”

“No Leon, as you know I am only twelve and I will never be in a position where politics will make a difference to my life as a pleasure boy.”

“A good honest answer, now what would you say if I told you I have a position for you?”
 

 

reader comment

Thank you for the beautiful story, I was sorry to read the last chapter as I was looking forward to Andre spending his money on the people of the Seventh Quadrant.

 

the book reviews

REVIEW by Jay.

This is a sci-fi story about a young pleasure boy, Andre, and his rise to fame and fortune. It takes place on the pleasure plant Pathos. The adventure takes our hero from a poor seventh quadrant rent boy to joining the elite of his world. This amazing story will carry you through his humble beginnings and personal loss to the very heights of his world. Along the way you will be taken on an emotional ride of highs and lows that will captivate you and keep you reading his story. From the unorthodox way he meets his lover Aldred to the heart of the Palace city, I found the journey a totally enjoyable read.

The author, Arthur, is well know to the Castle Roland community and this seems to be a recurring theme for him, rags to riches of a poor boy. We see the themes in "Drummer Boy" and "The Twilight Galaxy Motel". This works well for him, be it a fictional historic novel or a sci-fi story. His ability to keep your interest from the very start to it's conclusion is a testament to his skills. In this story some of the details of players change. It is noticeable but not distracting. It did somewhat abruptly end and left you wanting more. I think in this case it was done intentionally. It left me with a lot of unanswered questions. Maybe one day he will revisit this story and expand it in another book. As it was open ended that suggests there is more of this story is to be told.

Your visit to Andre's universe and world is a fun story. One which I enjoyed and one I would like to read more about.

 

REVIEW by Adam.

Pathos - A teen bedtime story by Arthur.

Andre, of course a super sexy young teen, is being preened for entry into the boy sex business by his mother.....yes you read that correctly. The remote planet of Pathos - and surely no planet in any universe in any plane in the Multiverse (yes, I'm into quantum mechanics) can be more ill signatured - seems to have its GDP heavily dependent on the boy lovers travel business.

So enter our delectable Andre, and turn on almost the cliché rags to riches story with a twist, of rather The Twist, danced solo for two hours to a one stringed guitar ( I'm being slightly sarcastic here). 

The story has everything a fairy tale boy's bed time story could wish for: adventure, riches, a bit of tearful tragedy, sex, a beautiful Prince (this is a gay boy remember), and a few surprises along the way, including hints of danger. The plot is spoiled by one scene of uncharacteristic and unnecessarily graphic depiction of man on boy sex, but otherwise this is a very lovely tale.

I have a classically gay- trending 12 year old cousin (once removed, of course) who lives in Cyprus at present. If I excised that one scene I mentioned, I would happily send him this story. It is this type of fresh, happy, uncomplicated, dare I say home town story that if one character changed, the Prince to a princess no one would blink an eyelid. This absurd 18 year rule in the US is an anachronism which simple stories such as Arthur's show up clearly.

This is a story I recommend to any teenager. (Except for one paragraph). I'm always nervous of spoilers in writing reviews, but you've gathered that Andre is an erotic dancer. Well, he proves to be not AN erotic dancer, but THE come-hither and slither dancer of the millennium! And he manages not only to keep it up, but to keep his multi hundred man audience up for two hours or more, if you get my drift. The money and riches roll his way.

So does another offer, of which I'll tell you nothing. It's covert, after all.

But the prince's looks aren't so covert, nor his other physical reactions to Andre, obviously a much more practiced sexual animal. The sensuality Arthur expresses in the dance sequences are breathtaking. He is less successful in his boy seduction passages. Maybe he didn't attend a boarding school! 

Overall though, a good read if I were a generation younger. OK, who am I fooling, two generations !!

 

the interview

This book, Pathos, is a rags to riches tale that gets our young hero and his mother out of their difficult financial situation, almost poverty, to super rich beyond your wildest dreams, in record time. It’s a theme you used again with your very successful novel Drummer Boy. Is it just coincidence or is there a story behind the poor boy makes good?

I think that my natural penchant for the underdog is the main driving force for not only Pathos and Drummer Boy but also for some of my other works. It seems to give most readers a good warm fuzzy feeling to have the underdog rise above the poverty he finds himself in.


The novel is very much told by the narrator and whilst it is well written and engaging, this approach does distance the reader from forming an immediate close connection with the young boy Andre. Although of course we grow to love him, but I never felt like I was actually inside his head, looking out through his eyes. Did you intentionally keep this distance, or is it your style of writing, your preferred method, rather than say lots of dialogue, or telling us the protagonist’s thoughts?

I am not sure why I did that but it may be that certain stories seem to make me feel like they should be in the third person rather than a sort of biography. When trying to put myself in their place so that I can get a feeling for their situation I am more often than not inclined to write in the third person. I am not sure if I actually have a writing style as I am always trying to do something new; I guess I get bored easily.


Given the narrative approach of the novel it does sort of lend an impression of being voyeuristic. Andre, our eleven year old, doesn't sound much like an eleven year old boy, not when he speaks, or how he acts. Perfect in all ways, the young boy prostitute, is ready to service the desires of his customers whilst we, the readers, look on. Much like Leon watching his son and Andre having sex. In exactly the same way, nothing is graphically pornographic, maybe titillating. Was there an idea with this story to achieve a mildly erotic response in your readership?

Good point and I think the simple answer is that I am trying to improve my writing style and content so that it is raised above the normal grunt and groan that is so often found in gay literature. For my own personal reading I am inclined to nowadays look for a story that has a good story line and makes use of titillation rather than pornography; if you really tear it down to the basics there are only a few ways to have sex and they have all been done over and over again. I often blame my alter ego Loki for things but for me to sit and write for some time I need the stimulus of throwing red herrings into the mix as well as asking the reader to look deeper into the story than what is just written on the page.

Drummer Boy is a good example of that and, even though I did receive a small number of emails about the lack of sexual contact, my answer was to read more closely. Thomas had two boys that he was involved with almost from the beginning but it is written in such a way that a reader must look beyond just the words on the page.


It is very much an adventure fantasy, in part a sexual fantasy clothed in the genre of Sci-fi. Looking back at this story do you think you achieved a good balance between the sex play and the realism of the story? To be more precise, the young Andre is a very well endowed boy, who looses his virginity in an orgy of sexual intercourse over a virtual non-stop marathon of thirty hours. Even boosted by the fantastic alien equivalent of Viagra, sustaining such sexual prowess was, well, fantastic!  

I know that some may not believe me on this point but I NEVER pre-plan any of my stories; I may have the first two or three paragraphs in my head but from then on I just write what comes into my head when I see the blank page in front of me. I try to let the theme tell me what and where it should go which makes for some interesting results but also brings with it some terrible problems of continuity as some readers may have noticed. This scene was one of those; it just felt right at the time and felt as though it was fitting for that scene. Again I try to put myself in their place or situation and then let my mind run free and hope for the best.

 

I said it is an adventure fantasy, the adventure and intrigue are gripping and you move the story along at a terrific pace. But perhaps things move a little too quickly? That is not to say I ever felt it was rushed, only that there may have been scope for a slower pace and more detail in the build up and revelations. Everything was there for an amazing story, but it all happened very fast.

Having gone back and re-read the story I am inclined to agree with you on that point; there is little doubt that I could have done better in the build up but I hope you will forgive me for saying that, even though it is an old tale I was then and even now am still trying to work on storytelling and this was one of the first that I started to veer away from my normal style. The stories that followed this one were beginning to take shape more into what I was trying to do which was bring more feeling and life into the characters.


Did you consider that the subject matter, a young boy prostitute, might provoke some adverse reactions? I personally found it very entertaining and unlike your later historical tome (Drummer Boy), this book has gay characters and a gay storyline. Did you receive a positive response from the readers, or did you have to deal with negative comments? What made you move away from writing with a gay theme, because Drummer Boy has none of the same elements we see here in this early work, except the action?

There was little reaction to this story in either context being as it was only posted on Nifty at the time and we all know that on the Castle there seems to be a finer appreciation of content and the work the authors do. Once again I think the later tales were a result of my own boredom with the same old sex themes and I was looking for something with a little more grit in the story line with any sexual content being of a minor concern.


Finally, I would like to ask you how you go about getting such a masterful storyline plotted out? You must I suppose plan the scenario and elements that unfold and get resolved? Do you have any specific approach in how you write an adventure story like Pathos?

To be frank I have really little knowledge of how I get to a story theme; most if not all the themes come to me usually early in the morning while still in bed in the lazy dazed state before you really wake up. Being retired I am inclined to stay up late into the night and then spend long hours in the morning letting my mind run free. It is from these day dreams that stories come to mind and; if I like the feel of it then I get on the computer and away we go with little to no idea of what or where it is going. The only time I may use any form of planning is when I need details that I am not sure of and for those I go to Mr. Google for answers or take situations from my own life experiences. When I dropped out of school in what we called the 3rd form (about 7th grade in the US) had I been told I was going to write stories or tell tales I think you would have heard the laughter all the way to the Kremlin. As far as planning goes I have no idea how to do it let alone make that sort of thing work for me; once again I can only say that I let the story line and the characters dictate to me where the story is to go and I think Pathos was the first one I had written that made me realise for me it was the best way to go.

A big thank you to Arthur for taking part in this interview for our readers.

 

Athur has his very successful book Drummer Boy: Honour Thy Family available  in print and as an ebook from Amazon.

 

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