Quiet Time …. “Singapore’s best gay novel”?

found this review of the book launch on Fridae’s website. might just buy it and read it during my vacation to manila after my reservist.  for those not familiar, the author wrote Singapore’s first gay novel “Peculiar Chris” 17 years ago (wow how time flies).  i never read the book, since at that age i was more keen on reading erotica. now being older and wiser, i guess is time i read some serious literature.

the author (isnt he cute) wrote a second book which was a follow up on Peculiar Chris.  this is his third book. after i have read it, i will update here with my review.  in the mean time you can read the review on fridae website at the link here.

book spoiler alert … the review exposes some of the themes in the book … i extract some of it here below after the link.

Author Johann S. Lee
Quiet Time

below extract from Fridae.com review by Ng Yi-Sheng

In Quiet Time, his characters are more developed, likable and three-dimensional than they’ve never been before. The whole book’s also much more mature in its outlook – as Johann says, Peculiar Chris was about coming out, To Know Where I’m Coming From is about growing up, but Quiet Time is about settling down. 

Our hero’s the 37-year-old Kuang Ming, a disillusioned, low-income freelance writer who’s constantly being told that he’s losing the muscle tone of his earlier years – a nice change from the leading men of the first two books, who were both hunky poor little rich boys. (Fun fact: Kuang Ming first appeared as a minor character at the very end ofPeculiar Chris.)

Kuang Ming’s in a ten-year-old relationship with Josh, the party-going, gym-obsessed CEO of a local gay website, Adonis.com (obviously modeled after Fridae.com’s Stuart Koe, but not in a flattering way). Their open relationship is on the rocks, and there’s a hot London doctor called Ethan Yap who’s interested in him – who’s he gonna choose?

His family life’s also gone haywire: his widowed mother’s getting old, his big sister Min Li’s a pregnant Bible-thumping anti-gay rights campaigner, and his ridiculously hot sexy younger brother Shaun has just come out of the closet. Predictably, the result is drama, drama and more drama.

Yet there’s a new degree of humour and tenderness in the work. Now, when he casts his eye on the absurdity of gay culture – protein shakes, exquisite décor, identical international Gay Pride parades – it’s not just critical, it’s actually funny. (There’s an exceptionally bizarre moment when Kuang Ming discovers his kid brother and his boyfriend have met in a bathhouse). 

The theme of family is also very strong: though Kuang Ming and Min Li are on opposite sides of the gay rights debate, they’re able to sit down at the same dinner table and talk about their lives. It’s also a strange comfort, in between tales of gay drama, to have tiny bits of family-centered Hainanese tradition thrown in, like calling uncles “ku deh” and making chicken rice balls with your hands for Chinese New Year reunion dinners.

2 thoughts on “Quiet Time …. “Singapore’s best gay novel”?”

  1. hi g from the Philippines, im one of your silent readers and i just want to commend you on your blog for posting beautiful men and their ways on how they keep fit including your own routines. Im also struggling to burn fat specially on my belly and i could relate the hardships your going through. I also procrastinate a lot specially if im getting tired and bored on the routines. Thats why its nice to hear stories about different people around the world who persevere on achieving their ideal body weight and tells every steps they went through. Anyways hope you go here in Manila soon because rainy season is over and summer is coming soon which is great for vacation. More power to your blog!

  2. thanks for the note. it does means a lot to me to know that there is someone out there reading besides my partner. all the best to your endeavors for 2009. looks like i am not going to make it to boracay 2009 with a beach bod, so will have to more that target again to 2010. LOL.

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