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Bashed Paperback – March 17, 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 212 pages
  • Publisher: MLR Press (March 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1608200280
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608200283
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,858,636 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audible Audio Edition
Just the premise of Bashed is enough to give one pause. Donald and Mark, still in their “honeymoon” phase, are on their way home after a night out at their favorite bar when they are brutally attacked. What follows is not only dealing with both the aftermath of the bashing and a fatally transformed love, but the fact that the perpetrator remains on the street.

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.
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Format: Audible Audio Edition
Bashed is a sad story, especially since The subject matter is a real one. I can't give the author a lot of credit for creativity since the story could actually be a true story or very similar to what has actually occurred to someone. Bashed is an entertaining book yet there was nothing extraordinary about the writing, the character development or anything else.
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Format: Paperback
I can always count on a Rick R. Reed novel to elicit some strong emotion from the me, whether it be empathy, fear, laughter or even (yes)... sexual arousal. I have to also say that Rick certainly does have a way with him when it comes to writing sweet, poignant stories about broken, wounded men. I always found myself wanting to hug and soothe the main character while I whip him up a pot of of my homemade bean and bacon soup.

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.
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Format: Paperback
The tagline of this novel is "A love story", but how can be a love story if one of the lover is killed at the beginning? well, it all depend on what you consider love, and then don't forget that the most famous love stories in the world haven't an happily ever after (Erich Segal was only one of the last...). Ahah, now some of one are thinking, so this novel has not an happily ever after? wrong, and again, it all depend on what you consider happily ever after.

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I learned about Rick R. Reed on FaceBook. We were members of a writers' group, and we shared some friends. We still are and do. One day, FaceBook suggested I send him a friend request, and I did. He accepted. We are FaceBook friends. Do understand that I doubt I'd recognize him walking down the street, which is likely to never happen given there's a continent between us. .

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.
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