Johnson, Toby. “Getting Life in Perspective: A Fantastical Romance”, Lethe Press, 1991, updated 2008.
I must admit that before I read “Getting Life in Perspective” that I had no idea of what a fantastical romance was. I now understand that it is a novel that suggests “attitudes toward important issues” that are personal to the reader. This novel is a gay spiritual romance that is entertaining, fulfills emotionally and is somewhat erotic. The characters are both identifiable and likeable who have the same kinds of problems that all of us do and the book is educational as it talks about spiritual traditions that engender good attitudes toward love and sex. life and death, being human and toward issues of importance.
In the words of Toby Johnson, a fantastical romance is “about getting life in perspective”.
The two characters in the novel, Rick and Hubert, tell the story of gay life and relationships in the way it may have been at the end of the 19th century as the world was preparing to enter the 1900’s. The story is myth but it is steeped in history as it brings together a strong spiritual message and youthful romance and a bit of the other worldly,
Emotionally the book tugs at the heartstrings and it made me long for those days of childlike innocence and think about the meaning of love. Not many books do that and not many novels can cause the reader to open his perspective and cause him to remember. Toby Johnson has written an incredible look at gay life and thereby gives a wonderful reading experience.