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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Book review: All We Have Is Now

Robert Taylor’s novel All We Have Is Now skillfully captures some of the worlds in which gay men find themselves: embraced by the supportive environment of the theater, hated in a small town, loved by a soul mate, or living with the grief of someone taken by AIDS or a hate crime. For narrator Ian McBride, however, the most troubling environment is one of openness and vulnerability. Ultimately, Taylor weaves a tale that not only reflects all those realities but also gives hope for gays, as well as anyone else who might feel different or isolated.

I especially enjoyed the stage scenes, in which McBride not only acts out but also internalizes some of the world’s most beloved plays. His interaction with the characters he portrays becomes an important and touching part of his budding relationship with a young admirer.

--Duane Simolke, author of The Acorn Stories, Degranon: A Science Fiction Adventure, Holding Me Together, The Return of Innocence (with Toni Davis), and New Readings of Winesburg, Ohio.