Nichols, Brad. “Best Gay Love Stories: New York City”. Alyson Books, 2006
Love New York Style
I stopped loving short fiction my freshmen year in college. After reading William Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily” and Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery’, I was sure that no short story could do for me what those two did. Short stories never gave me the depth or the characterization that I like so much and even though I would try every once in a while to read short stories for pleasure, I just never got into them again. There were exceptions along the way, of course. I thought Aaron Hamburger’s “The View from Stalin’s Head” was brilliant and I like Lev Raphaei’s short stories but they just don’t do it for me. When my friend Arthur Wooten told me had a new story published in a book from Alyson Books, I decided to give short stories another try and I am not sorry.
Brad Nichols edited “Best Gay Love Stories: New York City” and he has done an admirable job. New York, being one of the gay capitals of the world, undoubtedly has a lot of love stories and I am sure it was not easy to choose which stories to include. People fall in love everyday in the Big Apple and Nichols who has traveled and read widely had a rough job.
New York is one of those cities that has a special something. Whenever I go there I feel proud of the place. There also seems to be something special about falling in love in a place like New York. The electricity of the town is carried over into the electricity of the people who live there.
Twenty-four stories make up the anthology and I must say I enjoyed each and every one of them. Every kind of love is covered—first love, unrequited love, sexual love, platonic love, love lost. He book is a celebration of love and it is one that you really want to read.
I realize that I am writing a generic review of a book that has so much in it but if I were to tell you about each and every story I would be defeating my purpose in trying to get you to read. I will say one thing about one of the stories, however and that is about “Stroke of Luck” by my friend, Arthur. His descriptions are so real, his characterizations so true to live that you actually feel as if you are watching a story and not just reading in. Alejandro and Chip may be two of the sexiest men I have ever encountered in a short story. Now this is a hot story and I really enjoyed it (How is that for a shameless plug). But Wooten’s story does not stand alone. It is one of a group and perhaps I am prejudiced toward him, I think all of the stories hit their mark. If you like love and eroticism, this is a great collection. What a great idea for Valentine’s Day.