Synopses & Reviews
Martin is kind, decent, not bad on the eyes... and look where that's got him. His boyfriend of four years has run off with a male prostitute, and his friends John and Caroline both have enough excess baggage to fill a Louis Vuitton window display. What's a nice gay man to do? With no one to turn to, Martin decides to relive the wild youth he never had and, at the ripe old age of 32, jumps head-first into hedonism. But soon the nights of drugs, muscle-hard bodies, and even harder music take their toll, and Martin, John, and Caroline find that as fun as being absolutely shameless is (and girl, can it be fun ), it also has a price, one which they may not ultimately be able to pay.
"British author Burston's spritely, feisty debut follows a formerly decorous gay man's indoctrination into a free-spirited lifestyle of nightclubs, gym workouts, casual sex and recreational drugs. 'Fairly handsome' Martin comes home one day to discover that his boyfriend of four years has left him for a 'rent boy,' so he throws his quiet routine out the window and joins good friend John, a flight attendant, on an endless tour of London's gay nightlife. Meanwhile, Martin's other good friend, hip business professional Caroline, finds herself at the mercy of both a cocaine habit and some dark suspicions that her metrosexual boyfriend, Graham, is actually gay. While Martin and John party excessively, things go from bad to worse for Caroline, whose personal paranoia forces her to mistakenly 'out' Graham at a friendly gathering. Then she's caught sniffing drugs at work and then there's a case of pubic lice. As Martin bulks up at the gym, John starts cooking his own drugs and has a dancing 'Britney moment,' all while obsessing over his latest conquest: Latin sex-god Fernando. Burston is wise to ground his story on appealingly befuddled Caroline, even though she and everyone else is in a state of drug-induced obliviousness (a scene depicting Martin's father popping Ecstasy and dancing shirtless during Gay Pride makes even the reader wince). The perfect-bodied vanity and dizzyingly juvenile perspective eventually become tiresome, but Martin, Caroline and company, snorting their way through the London club scene, make for a brisk beach read. Agent, Sophie Hicks at Ed Victor Ltd. (June) Forecast: A blurb from Queer as Folk creator Russell Davies touting this debut as 'outrageously funny' should generate interest, and a pre-summer release date will mean that there's plenty of time for folks to pick up Burston's book along with the sun block and beach snacks." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
- The success of Ben Tyler's "Hunk House (Kensington, 5/03) and "Tricks of the Trade (Kensington, 2002) and Doug Guinan's "California Screaming (Simon & Schuster, 1998) proves there is a market for gay "beach reads" like SHAMELESS.- Originally published in the UK, SHAMELESS has also been published in France, Germany, and Hungary.- Paul Burston was born in Yorkshire, England, and raised in Wales. A journalist and a broadcaster, his work has appeared in several UK publications, including the "Sunday Times, Guardian, and "Independent, among others. SHAMELESS is his first novel.- SHAMELESS will be published in June, which is Gay Pride Month, with plenty of tie-in opportunities to promote the book.