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Bob the Book Paperback – October 1, 2010
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About the Author
David Pratt has published short fiction in Christopher Street, The James White Review, Blithe House Quarterly, Harrington Gay Men's Fiction Quarterly, Velvet Mafia, Lodestar Quarterly, and other periodicals, and in the anthologies Men Seeking Men, His3 and Fresh Men 2. He has directed and performed his own work for the theater, including appearances in New York City at the Cornelia Street Cafe, Dixon Place, HERE Arts Center, the Flea Theater, Theater of the Elephant, and the Eighth Annual New York International Fringe Festival. He has collaborated frequently with Rogerio M. Pinto, and he was the first director of several plays by the Canadian playwright John Mighton. David holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the New School. 'Bob the Book' is his first novel. He is currently at work on the book of a new musical.
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Describing Bob the Book this way makes it sound sci-fi, but it's not. It's just about trying to find love, whether you're a book or a human. Bob is a gay book. He's a book on vintage erotica, and he's in love with a nice book about gay Judaica. However, being books, their mobility is dependent on others. Two different people buy Bob and his love, Moishe, and they are separated. Will they be reunited? Will they find love elsewhere? Will they discover that they each have different ideas of love?
The humans in the book, who are less developed than the book characters, also face many of the same dilemmas. But the books are always there to observe and offer interesting commentary on dating, hooking up, and other aspects of gay culture in general.
This is a romance, yes, but it's not a starry-eyed idealized one. It's realistic. (Its attempts to be gritty sometimes fall flat) The road to love is filled with many different obstacles.
The book raises a lot of interesting questions. How do you find love (as a gay, for example) when so much of "love" is rooted in tradition, yet so much of your lifestyle is on the fringes? How much of love is out of control? How much do we leave up to fate?
Bob the Book
The characters of the story are the books themselves, with personalities that transcend the primary topic. The books develop great relationships with each other, and their efforts to reunite with friends is really quite heart warming. How often to you find yourself cheering on a book that is a character in a book.
There is lots of humor, obviously. There is also a wonderful plot, and an examination of our attitudes toward books and authors. This review does a poor job of capturing this book - you really have to read it for yourself. It is unique and wonderful.
You've got the fascist, the romantic, the knight, the inspirational one, the pretty face, the "pornoman" (thanks for the word, Damon Suede), the regency heroine, the business man, the fashion girl, the scholar, the intellectual, the boring one, the self-righteous Christian and many more.
As they are bought, sold, offered and discarded, these books meet, interact, fight, help each other, fall in love etc. You see them get happy, sad, thoughtful, manipulative, wiser, depressed etc.
It was wonderful. A bit like a Toy Story for books lovers.
The main characters, a book called Bob, and his close friends look for love and they find it in the end, though not always with the book they originally hoped for.
The story of Bob and his friends is intertwined with stories about their various human owners. The romantic in me loved reading about their final owners, two human roommates & occasional lovers who both looked for love everywhere but in the right place until it was nearly too late.
What I liked most about this book is the funny idea that books can talk to us and influence us into buying them. Some of Bob's friends had a quite imaginative and persuasive buy-me talk!