Rupert Smith is the author of nine novels, in his own name and as James Lear, and of several biographies ad books about television. He was born in Washington DC, grew up in Surrey and has lived in London since 1978. As well as writing fiction, Rupert has a long career as a journalist, contributing to dailies, weeklies and monthlies in Britain, America and Europe.
'Funny, dirty, deeply romantic, Man's World is a wonderfully evocative novel that hurtles between now and our recent history in a wild and emotional waltzer ride' Jake Arnott
Robert and Michael are two gay men living in England-50 years apart. While Robert's life is a whirl of work, gym, and clubbing, Michael struggles in the Royal Air Force as he hides his attraction to men. Despite the time difference, there are many parallels between the two, especially in their campy best friends Jonathan (in Robert's case) and Steven (in Michael's). In alternating chapters, we watch Michael negotiate a perilous world in which he can't be himself, while Robert, who can be as open as he wants sexually, finds himself hemmed in by the social strictures of the gym and club sets. Both men get into trouble, professionally and romantically. This reader found Michael's story more compelling, in part because it has a great sense of time and place; Robert's superficial life is, well, superficial. But the connection between the men does hold in this enjoyable read with well-drawn characters. VERDICT At its heart, this is a novel about friendship and community. Older readers will appreciate the period detail, while younger readers will realize how lucky they are. [Smith was named Stonewall Award Writer of the Year.-Ed.]-Devon Thomas, DevIndexing, Chelsea, MI (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.