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Bashed Paperback – March 17, 2009
The Amazon Book Review
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Top Customer Reviews
Reed is a commanding storyteller. This comes through even in the audiobook, which is how I experienced Bashed. Taavi Mark narrates and aquits himself admirably; he is interesting, and polished. I did have difficulty with some of his character dialog interpretations from time to time. Only once did I think he got a line wrong; it was certainly not what I expected. Even so, Reed’s writing is solid so that any discrepancy between what is heard and what is on the page is easily resolved so that none of the story is lost. Thanks to Mark's expertise, the audiobook loses none of its emotional impact.
As mentioned at the start, the premise of Bashed made me think twice. In less talented hands, the story might have become an exercise in prolonged hopelessness. Instead, Bashed is terrifyingly honest. Reed has a new fan.
So, this is the story of Donald, a 50ish man that loses his younger lover in a gay-bashing incident one night after they'd just left a Chicago gay bar. Unfortunately, the police don't quickly catch the thugs that perpetrate the crime and Donald has a hard road before him as he begins to heal mentally and physically.
Donald and Mark are happy and in love. They are actually still in the apex of their story, a six months old couple, a love at first sight that led to a sudden life in common. They are talking of the future, they are building a future. There is quite a wide age difference between Donald and Mark, something that Donald briefly considered, at 50 years old he didn't like to play the role of the daddy, but Mark won his every resistance. They would have been probably a very happy couple, but it's not fate to see it. Mark is killing during a gay bashing and Donald is left with his memories. And strange to say, I believe that the fact that they were a quite "new" couple allows Donald to survive; he is in pain, he misses Mark, but he is not thinking to kill himself, something that probably he would have thought if the one to die was his long-term partner. Instead Donald has still a life other than the one he shared with Mark, their relationship was still fresh enough to allow Donald to move on after a right mourning period. And maybe it helps that Mark didn't really leave him, he is still a steady presence in Donald's life, not exactly a ghost, but more the projection of Donald's love for him, an output of Donald's mind who speaks through Mark's image to tell Donald what he has to do.Read more ›
As a point of reference, Reed is often referred to as the gay Stephen King. I would rephrase that. King is the straight Reed. It works better for me that way.
Bashed was published by MLR Press in 2009, and it is available on Amazon for $13.49, as of this writing. I bought the Kindle edition for $4.79, and I have no regrets. However, I did not start reading one minute later as the ads suggest; I waited until I reached the lake. If you buy it in paper, there will be 212 pages, and you'll wait a few days to get it. I prefer electronic books because they weigh less, and it doesn't hurt that they're cheaper. The instant gratification doesn't hurt either.
Bashed is a very fast read, if you let it be. Had my schedule permitted, I would have finished it in a day. Instead, I finished it in two afternoons. This is not to suggest that Bashed is a trivial read. Oh, no, no. It's a compelling read. I found myself flipping the upper right corner of the Kindle to turn the page, which does not work. There is a button for that. In part, that's good testimony for the machine, but far more, it's tribute to Reed's ability to spin a web that transported me from a dreary reality through two afternoons. The man tells a good story.
Most gay people face hate-based violence at some point and in some manner. My last instance was the summer of 2008. There will be another all too soon.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bashed is a very good book, touching and suspenseful I highly recommend for anyone. Rick is a very good storyteller.Published on November 20, 2013 by Daniel P'Lopez
What a awesome book, this is a story well written, as I read I felt as if I was living in the story. I loved it. A MUST READ.Published on October 14, 2013 by Lannie
This is the first Rick Reed novel I have read, but after reading "Bashed: A Love Story" [MLR Press, 2009], I have become a fan. Read morePublished on February 11, 2011 by Gerry A. Burnie
Bashed is an intense story that is likely to resonate with readers and leave a lasting impression. The subject matter is intense and relevant even as many hope the kind of hatred,... Read morePublished on January 26, 2010 by Kassa
What I like about Reed's work is the simplicity in his writing. While most gay novels out there are written by authors trying to be as literary as Ayn Rand or Ernest Hemingway,... Read morePublished on June 9, 2009 by Michael P. Mcgeehan
When you pick up a copy of Rick R. Reed's Bashed, don't expect it to be an easy throwaway read. This is a novel about love, violence, fear, and hope that will capture your... Read morePublished on May 28, 2009 by B. D. Whitney