Customer Reviews: Forth into Light: A Novel (Peter & Charlie Trilogy) (Peter & Charlie series)
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on April 30, 1998
I am totally obsessed with this trilogy! I fantasize about it, write more chapters, I even dream about it at night. VERY recommended. When I finished the third book, I almost cried because there wasn't more, and I desperately wanted to know what happened to Peter and Charlie next. Both the love and the fights were so honestly written that I almost believed it all really happened. Read these, they're a complete emotional experience!!
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VINE VOICEon September 10, 2003
Forth Into Light does was so few books can do: It made me angry and it made me sad. It is so rare that a book can make real emotions erupt in me, so I must say that I think it was well done. I don't have to like what happens to my favorite character, but it does have to be believable and/or justifiable. However, I'll be honest - this was my least favorite of the three books.
This book is significantly different than the previous two books in the trilogy. It takes the focus off of Charlie and Peter and puts in on a whole village, with a slightly brighter light shining on a expatriate American writer and his son.
I wasn't always nuts about how the story moved along, because it seemed as if Merrick had become bored with his two lead characters and was attempting to "do" something with them beyond that which he'd already done. It often seemed as if there were two books here, neither of which was Merrick terribly committed to.
Ultimately I enjoyed the book because it finalized the two characters I'd come to love from the beginning (sometimes I could relate with Charlie and other times I could relate to Peter). In this final book, it is important to remember what was happening in Merrick's world as well as the 1960 world of the characters. The whole free love movement was in full swing for Merrick, but it was just finding its sea legs in 1960. That's all well and good, but it just seemed rather forced at times in the book.
Don't get me wrong. I did enjoy the book, but it was a less pleasurable read than the previous two books in the trilogy. But ya' gotta read it!
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on October 2, 2016
This is the third time I have read this novel, which is part of a trilogy. I know the story well, as I have read most of Gordon Merrick's books. I reread them because of the excellent writing style. I am a writer and I need to read and reread well written books periodically to try and develop my own writing pace. Gordon Merrick is right at the top of the list when it comes to fiction. It doesn't matter if it's gay or straight, it is fantastic writing. When I pick up one of his books, I read for hours without stopping. I wish I had his ability to weave a story in such a way that the reader is captivated by every sentence.
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on December 9, 2012
This is book three in the series of "Peter & Charlie Trilogy" and for me, getting these books, was like revisiting with
old long lost friends. I read these books when I was about 17 or 18 years old.
Too long of a story for here, but they were lost to fire.... and to have them back again... well, I read each one in about 4 nights.
Gordon Merrick was an amazing author, who was ahead of his time.
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on December 13, 2013
I had heard about Merrick's books for years, but had never read one. I assumed they were some kind of milestone in Gay Literature. Having now read one and skated through two others, I can understand why Merrick's novels were once devoured by gay readers. They could skim through the daytime soap-opera plots and enjoy some very explicit gay porn. But today, these books should come with a strong Warning Label, especially for young readers. Merrick's books were written at a time when gays were expected to question and (in some instances even validate) society's condemnation of homosexuality. In my naivitee, I thought Mary Renault and Gore Vidal had put an end to the era when it was obligatory for gay characters to commit suicide in the final chapter. I was wrong! Only the most self-abnegating of homosexual could genuinely "enjoy" the plot-lines and dialogue of these books. Skim them (if you must) for the tasty sex scenes, but better still to leave them to history. Whatever you do, DON'T give them to young gays!!!
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on March 27, 2011
Forth Into Light is the third book in the exciting trilogy of Charlie Mills and Peter Martin. It is 279 pages of fairly dense script.

The story started out being a disappointment to me because even though the contented, highly respected Mills-Martins were intrigued onlookers of the developing plot taking place in the lush Greek Isle where they lived, they did not in the beginning play key roles. I want to make it clear that in spite of that fact, I found the story and colorful characters to be fascinating, and as it progressed Charlie and Peter became drawn into the many intermingling aspects of the tightly woven story. As with most of Gordon Merrick's stories, it is intensely romantic, erotic, angst-ridden and active.

The one thing I find extremely off-putting in Merrick's stories is his determination to force his gay men into sexual encounters and relationships with women. I have nothing against the women in the hetrosexual relationships in the stories, but when women are foisted off on Charlie and Peter I deeply resent them. For one thing it feels forced. I despised Martha from the beginning, because I knew that she secretly had every intention of splitting Charlie and Peter up at her first opportunity so she could have Charlie to herself. In this book she finally outed herself and proved that she was the sly, manipulative witch I always knew she was. Of course it backfired in her face.

Though I was saddened by the way the story ended for one of the main characters whom I had become very fond of, at least there was a happy ending for Charlie and Peter. I hesitate to call it an ending because it finishes with no real finality to it. Merrick could have picked up with another story where that one left off. I wish he had.
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on February 26, 2002
I must admit I thought Lord Won't Mind was to be his crowning achievement, but I feel this book outdid the first in the trilogy. And this time around, even though the characters are once again for the most part Harlequin cardboard cutouts,... I think the emotional tie to Jeff is what makes me hold this one dearest to my heart of all three (well, all two... havent read One for the Gods yet). And check out the passage between Jeff and Mike for one of the most erotic "first timer" encouters written in any, straight, and bi authors would have a hard time (no pun intended) topping this one.
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on March 8, 2015
I have to tell you all I am a girl and I read these books and let me tell you I was so moved by them all. Love is love no matter your sexual orientation. I could relate to Peter and his feeling for Charlie. At time I hated Charlie for trying to shove Peter out of his life. But in the end he came to his senses and they got together. I love this series especial The Lord Won't Mind. I have to see if Merrick has any more I want to read.
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on December 21, 2014
Loved all 3 books in Merrick series of Charlie and Peter.
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on March 19, 2015
Too much incidental goings on. I got bored.
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