Reviewer: Alan Chin
Publisher: Chelsea Station Editions
David Pratt—who won a Lambda Literary Award for his delightful novel, Bob The Book—has published this anthology of fourteen short stories. Many of these stories have appeared in periodicals and other anthologies over the years, and the lion’s share of these tales feature young gay men coming to terms with being queer, which makes My Movie a look back on our own past of learning to deal with love and lust and isolation.
As with most anthologies I’ve read, I connected with several of these stories and didn’t connect with others, but each story carries Pratt’s unique voice and is pushed over the top by his superb imagination. The reader never really knows what will happen next, nor how far to extremes the story will take them.
Some of my favorites in this collection are: “Calvin Gets Sucked In,” where the hero who loves porn gets swept into a porn flick, only to realize the fictitious life in the movies is not all it’s cracked up to be, or is it?; and “One Bedroom,” about a young man who’s first sexual experience is answering an ad that says “Use My Face For A Toilet”; and “Ulmus Americana,” the tale of a long-term relationship between two trees in a city park; and best of all “The Addict,” where a guy takes a beautiful man home for sex, but the trick is too strung out on drugs.
The author writes about love between men, and the yearning, loss, and loneliness that brings. These are not happy stories, but the author does use his distinctive brand of humor in the telling. He writes with unyielding perception with a precise, controlled voice.
Pratt has an amazing attention for detail, which is always a blessing and sometimes a curse—blessing because it brings each story to vivid life, a curse because some stories occasionally drag the reader down, like wading through quicksand.
My Movie showcases the versatility of David Pratt, confirming that he is an important voice in LGBT literature. I can recommend My Movie to all readers.