RaveLambda Literary... provocative and fascinating ... It is interesting to see a shift from the early gay and lesbian scholarship to a new generation of vibrant queer historical writing. Ryan’s perspective is expansive. He is attuned to issues of queer diversity, as well as to gender, sex, and feminist theory, and he keeps a steady contemporary eye on the flawed narrative assumptions and rush to conclusion that plagued prior historical writings ... a rich journey through the birth, decline, and rebirth of a distinct queer community ... Ryan vividly reconstructs an entire lost past...Ryan’s scholarship turns up an abundance of riches ... By demystifying the process of historical research and maintaining a robust self-awareness and open point of view, Ryan’s study stays extremely welcoming and inclusive. His metanarrative, like all good history writing, brings the past vividly alive and makes us excited to learn more about who we were, are, and possibly may be in the future in this dynamic, evolving city many of us call home.
Robert W. Fieseler
RaveLambda Literary\"More than a tale of one heinous tragedy, Fieseler, by way of meticulous research and survivor interviews, enlarges the scope of his history to create a sadly damning account of the workings of homophobia and the closet at that time in American history. Fieseler analyzes his tale from many angles, in the process of which he succeeds in indicting the failures of many institutions ... Fieseler is especially to be commended for the masterful way he weaves the threads of his narrative into a richly provocative and compelling story ...
This is a sobering story, one that exposes unspeakable trauma, pain, and emotional shock. It is fraught with human frailty, moral weakness, evil, and bigotry. The twists and turns of fate and coincidence, the lessons of bravery and kindness, and the blatant instances of deceit and intolerance, made me lean forward and take notice ... Any good book is an awakening of sorts, and as good books go this was certainly that, but beyond that, Tinderbox was for me a moment of true epiphany and self-reckoning; primarily through its cathartic bridging of the closeted gay past, the AIDS years, the social advances of the early 2000s, and the gay present. This was a book which reaffirmed and renewed in my own heart the quest, the yearning for dignity and justice in my homeland.\
Isaac Butler & Dan Kois
RaveLambda LiteraryThis ongoing conversation captures all the twists and turns of fate that went into the two-part epic’s creation with a sense of suspense and drama–from the joy and exuberance to the heartache. And just like the play, Butler and Kois allow the rich complexity of the story to unfold through the conversations, discussions, and critiques of those involved...that are fascinating to read ... Butler and Kois place us on intimate terms with the play’s characters, ideas, and humanity–and their book, a prescient reminder of the need to follow one’s truth in the face of oppression and intolerance, will be an invaluable text for years to come.
MixedLambda LiteraryI can’t recall in recent years a more ambitious gay novel with such historical scope as John Boyne’s The Heart’s Invisible Furies … With a nod toward the greats of Irish and British literature, Boyne fashions The Heart’s Invisible Furies—which is sometimes picaresque and sometimes a novel of manners—against a panorama of gay cultural history … In essence, this is a bold, exhaustive novel which leads no stone unturned, no dramatic scenario untried, no characters unscathed, no ‘prisoners’ untaken. But Boyne is perhaps too ambitious for his own good: the novel is less certain if it is a realistic historical novel, a barbed satire, a comedy of errors or strict melodrama.