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Another Life by Andrew Foote  [message #73255] Tue, 22 August 2017 06:37 Go to next message
William King is currently offline  William King

Toe is in the water

Registered: October 2016
Messages: 99

Another Life by Andrew Foote.

I read with interest the thread http://forum.iomfats.org/t/9016/ about Thilo by Andrew Foote. I have only read one of his books, I think by recommendation on here. I did not feel my comments on the book I read would fit into the other thread, so I post them here.

What did I think about the book?

The author has an obvious interest in canals and the industrial past of the Midlands, something that he managed to weave into the story, and it was interesting.

The story plot worked fine, it all hung together.

The characters were good, but I found some of the relationships and interactions unrealistic, in particular Ed and Callum. I can't think it's realistic for Ed to get drawn into a gay relationship with Callum where nothing happened and then to find a younger boy, remembering he started out pretty much straight.

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I have read other stories with a similar theme, that is about street kids, and of course I make comparisons. One in particular, set in the US ( https://theboysofsunset.wordpress.com/0001-chapter-one/) it's not a finished book, but very real. Another is a short story set in Canada, I think ( http://www.gayauthors.org/story/mikiesboy/levko) very, very real.

This book was engaging enough, both story wise and character wise, that I carried on reading because I wanted to know what would happen and the plot had twists and turns.

It was an enjoyable read despite my viewing it as less than realistic, but then it is fiction, and it didn't need to have graphic sex scenes, not at all, but the 'no sex' really did get extended to absolutely no sex, described or not.

Yes it was well written, but I couldn't help feeling that it was more realistic in describing the British waterways than it was in relating young gay love within the plot of a mediocre detective story.

Perhaps I am being a little harsh, but I did not come away with any wow factor or feeling that that was a good book I just read.
Re: Another Life by Andrew Foote  [message #73289 is a reply to message #73255] Sat, 26 August 2017 13:11 Go to previous message
andypaz is currently offline  andypaz

Getting started
Location: buenos aires
Registered: June 2016
Messages: 16

Dear William,
I do not find <Another life>,to be "more realistic in describing the British waterways than in relating young gay love within the plot of a mediocre detective story".
I think that waterways are the necessary "stage", where the "mediocre detective story" is the glue that holds together the plot for a story of real love between boys with difficult circumstances.

All of Andrew Foote's stories are very good. I specially like the fact that they include British waterways notions. In <Loneliness> one of the boys  lives on a boat with his parents. Then <Boy on the towpath> is a very nice story of love on board (age dif. but on board) >Fitting or Where do I fit> does not present this component, but for some short reference to a channel. <No borderlines> goes around ships and brings us from England to Brazil...
Ships, channels, the sea,... !!jummm¡¡...just wonderful...

I find that the author speaks of things he knows about, or that he is very well informed of. Is A. F. a swimmer, or a businessman, or a police officer? We don't know. At least, I do not know. But I believe that he is a writer who makes a great effort to be informed of how things work before writing about them.
He is a very good writer of stories which present us with an ample and diverse variety of every day situations mixed with romantic teenage gay love.

I also find that there is a lot of sex in his stories. "Implied" sex, of course. That is good. He does not need to describe bizarre sexual encounters. The sex is just implied. The reader will imagine the sex scenes as he likes them best. Even more vivid, or sensual, or harder, or lighter, or whatever his preferences might be. A good writer is the one who puts your mind in gear when reading the story. He does not need to dish the baked cake. It is enough that he provides the flour, milk, sugar...

Yes. Ed started pretty much straight, but, he was 13 y.o.  Boys at 13 are just discovering what they are. They are confused. Love and sex, are both difficult and new situations to deal with. A first sexual experience is difficult for some boys. They fall in love, they have sexual desires, but they are also afraid of both concepts. It is rare to find a "first love" or "first sexual partner" lasting long  time.
Ed and Callum loving each other but no sex makes that love much more transcendent. "Friendship love" can also be very romantic. It might also be a necessary step to Ed loving the younger boy.

William, please understand that I do not wish to contradict your opinion. We can all have our point of view regarding a story. In this opportunity, mine is different to yours. I'm a great fan of Andrew Foote but do criticize his work when I don't like it. That is the case with Thilo. I go on thinking that there is too much violence and too many weapons in that story for my like. Even so, I keep reading each chapter.

I apologize to you, and all who might read, for the many mistakes. English is not my home language 
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