Top critical review
11 of 13 people found this helpful
The Winding Road
on June 23, 2010
The at-times great writing by Michael Thomas Ford in this new novel is somewhat negated by some credibility issues. Apparently, nearly everyone in Vermont is gay: the doctor, the librarian, the gallery owner (OK, maybe this one is plausible), the girlfriend of the main character's father (who has had lesbian fantasies), the vet (who had a gay experience earlier in life), the vet's son (20 year-old Will), and the main character himself, Burke. Plus assorted others. But, hey, gay fiction is Ford's genre so we get beyond this. Will comes on to Burke despite the fact that Burke is twice his age and in not one but two casts. This attraction is not explained nor is why Will thought Burke would be receptive. (Gaydar? Not mentioned.) Then there are the Civil War characters Burke discovers in some old photographs. Guess what? A number of them turn out to be gay! Then there are the ghosts which, absent any resolution prior to the end of the story, we are left to believe are that: ghosts spooking rural New England. The whole description of Destiny, a gay version of the Bohemian Grove or Burning Man festival, is over-the-top. The place evidently really exists but not in the way reported here. I get the impression that Mr. Ford had a concept for a story about a man going home to be with his estranged father. He then seems to have run out of steam and had to layer in the Civil War angle to bulk it up to something more than a novella. This was still not enough so he added the Destiny chapter to barely make it to 250 pages. Still, there are redeeming, enjoyable features. The love scenes between Will and Burke are hot! Some of the dialogue is funny and some of the character descriptions are colorful. Lay back and read this with a soupcon of skepticism.