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William King

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 of online Gay books and stuff.


It’s been nearly five months since the first posted blog article back in June. I suppose I’m not a prolific and fast reader, but I have come across a couple of good interesting stories.


I don’t suppose, at least if you are in any way similar to me, that you would be immediately drawn to a book about ballet. I started reading this book, Dance of the Wicked Boys because someone, somewhere, mentioned it and I bookmarked it. 

You might call it one of those occasions where the title does a great job in drawing the reader's attention. The front cover tells you immediately what type of dancing. Having picked it up and started reading, I simply had to continue, the story won’t let you put it down. Plus it’s well written. There are some typos and errors here and there, it could do with a proof read, but that’s the only real criticism I could make. The sequel, Act Two, is even better than the first book. 

I had to write and ask the author a few questions about the book and how he wrote it. I particularly wanted to know if he had plotted out the storyline. The reason being the ending, which I’m not about to tell you, but an ending that manages to bring everything neatly together and finish the story is the art of a great storyteller. The sequel achieved that, and yes, a story plot was outlined, even if some things changed along the way.

The book has sex in it, a fair amount, and brings up the perennial problem of age differences in relationships. The author managed to walk the tightrope, but as he revealed to me, not without some compromise. Whatever those changes may have been, the book certainly achieves the painting a picture of the world of ballet, the struggle of the boys, as well as how all this sits with society at large. 

Perhaps one of the best gifts this author has to offer us readers is the superb characterisation. Every character has their own personality and voice, and they are mostly in keeping with who they are. Occasionally, Raphael, a leading character, may appear to talk in a way that belies his fifteen years, but his Uncle Teddy is an absolute joy. There are way too many references to the period, writers, artists, and American society of the epoch to go into. I reckon you could read it twice over and still might miss some, Billy Eliot this is not!

So the recommendation, which I’m passing on to you is over on AwesomeDude: 

Dance of the Wicked Boys by free thinker
and the sequel Act Two - Dance of the Wicked Boys


Now I did mention at the start that I’ve read a couple of stories since June. For most of those there are reviews and author interviews here on the forum in the Critics Reviews. One other story I would like to give a mention, is a short story that appeared on IOMFATS posted for one of the writing prompt challenges they have from time to time.

Ryan and the Gringot is not exactly new in its theme, nevertheless it is well done. Well written (ignoring some errors that crept in) the story was emotional and moving. It had a happy ending that blended perfectly with the story. It had some great character names, I loved the wicked witch. It was easy to read, it was a joy to read, and also nice to read a story set in London. 

Ryan and the Gringott  by Hamster.


And as always, just to give a little taste of what boys ballet is like, both physically and emotionally, here’s the Russian equivalent of the Ballet of America with the 5th year boys exam.



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Hi Will!,

I believe it was my search for this story which initially tweaked your interest in it. It is a trifle dated today, but nevertheless remains the best ballet boy story out there. But, more richly, the tale reaches into the vulnerability of even the most powerful and, conversely, the ability of the seemingly haughty to be understanding of those most vulnerable. For what is really little more than a novella, it manages to cram between its veritable covers a wealth of richly hewn characters akin to the first chapters of Kipling's Kim or of Dicken's "Tale...".

My only feeling of shortcoming is that, unlike Billy Elliot, the story didn't continue through until we saw at least a glimpse of what either student became. 

After all, Will, you chose as your illustration, if I'm not mistaken a still from the short documentary on the Corp de ballet in Paris which follows the regime through to 16 or 17. It would have been great to have seen what Raphael and his cadet would have become by that age!

There is a short documentary on the American or New York school of ballet programme or program for boys, but nothing has been written as a narrative in recent years that I can find. There seems to be no art in any of the multifarious dimensions of future multiverses.


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