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Selfish and Perverse

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  232 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
Nelson Kunker is trapped in his job as the script supervisor on Aftertaste, the low-rated late-night sketch television show. His life in Los Angeles has come to a halt because he's unable to finish the novel he's writing, doesn't have a boyfriend, and, at the pivotal age of thirty-four, has reached the juncture where he has to decide whether he's really talented or just ga ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published August 24th 2007 by Da Capo Press (first published August 23rd 2007)
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(showing 1-30)
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Dec 18, 2007 Jenne rated it it was ok
Shelves: didnt-finish
I loved the first line of this:

"Love at first sight makes perfect sense because we're all pressed for time."

And it was kind of fun for a while, but let me give some advice to all you aspiring novelists out there--unless you are Michael Chabon, do not write a novel about writing (or not writing) a novel. I know, write what you know, right? But go learn about something else and write about that instead. I'm serious. Nobody cares.
Rachel Kramer Bussel
Sep 16, 2007 Rachel Kramer Bussel rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
Selfish and Perverse is a captivating, hilarious, very gay and very unique book. Smith knows his quirky characters and his settings, Los Angeles and Alaska, inside and out, and manages to make Nelson Kunker endearing, even if he's not the most exciting character in the fabulous first novel. That mantle is reserved for his two love interests, the hard-to-read, smart and cynical yet romantic Alaskan fisherman Roy and the flashy, annoying, but hot movie star Dylan. Staring out with the lowly life o ...more
Jul 06, 2010 Aaron rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Unfortunately, due to pressure from the author (Bob Smith) who was unhappy with this review. It was removed from the Lambda Literary website.

The original review is published below.

‘Selfish & Perverse’ by Bob Smith
Post image for ‘Selfish & Perverse’ by Bob Smith

by Aaron Krach on June 23, 2010 · 7 comments

in Fiction

Full disclosure. I can be very selfish and I have tried my best to be perverse. Yet Bob Smith’s book makes me feel like a prude.

Dec 29, 2007 Scott rated it it was ok
Shelves: thepinkroom
This book ended nicely but I was totally bored during the beginning 2/3 of the book. The descriptions of the characters were such that I could not form an image of them in my head and I couldn't even remember the names of the characters.

I really enjoyed Bob Smith's first "memoir" and had high hopes for this book. Just not what I expected I suppose. The ending was descent, but overall the book felt like digging all of Texas for a gold nugget. You know you will eventually find it, but is it really
Ulysses Dietz
Apr 07, 2013 Ulysses Dietz rated it really liked it
"Selfish and Perverse" is smart and funny; with a romantic core that is as expansive as the Alaskan wilderness in which much of the improbable plot takes place.

...I have Bob Smith's "Remembrance of Things I Forgot" on my Kindle - and had been waiting for his other books to appear on Kindle. Finally, I couldn't wait any longer and ordered the actual print books. "Selfish and Perverse" is the first of these.

Nelson Kunkle, the narrator and chief protagonist, is very likely Bob himself, tweaked to f
Jun 18, 2011 Yasmin rated it really liked it
"Bob Smith’s debut novel, Selfish and Perverse, is about Nelson Kunker, who lives and works in Los Angeles as a writer’s assistant for a show named Aftertaste. He hopes to write novels, and wonders if he’s stagnating: “What had me worried was that I was an artsy, thirty-four-year-old man who needed to confront whether I was really talented or just gay.”

That delicious line speaks volumes for and strikes at our notions of gay productivity. One-liners come easily to Smith, who’s better known as an
Apr 21, 2009 Isis rated it it was ok
Shelves: glbt
A gay romance in which, just as in some slash fanfiction, pretty much everybody's gay. I think there are two straight characters in this book.

The writing is generally good (with a few really brilliant bits) but Smith apparently feels it necessary to tell us every bit of his research about Alaska and fishing and fishing in Alaska in frequent exposition dumps disguised as pointless and dull conversation.

The story itself is pure old-fashioned romance novel, attempting to update itself, I guess, b
Apr 14, 2013 Ed rated it really liked it
An enjoyable, funny read.

If I were to have just read an overview of the plot, I probably would have skipped this. A gay romance between an aspiring writer, an Alaskan fisherman with the complication of a pushy movie star.

But, knowing that the author was Bob Smith, I gave it a try. I love his non-fiction and stand-up. I was not disappointed. He's terribly funny and charming in his writing.
Nov 20, 2013 Jonathan rated it really liked it
This was the perfect book to read coming off of a reading hiatus. Bob smith's writing is so engaging and funny, interspersed with profound insight. I didn't love this one quite as much as Remembrance of Things I Forgot, but that would've been nearly impossible. This book creates an indelible universe of unique characters and places. It is also very sexy.
May 02, 2010 Nicky rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009, novels, xy, first-person
Perfectly harmless fluff. If you're interested in Alaska, so much the better.
Logan Clark
Jan 20, 2015 Logan Clark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Was a great read. Made me nervous so many times. Will definitely read it again
Dec 26, 2008 Mark rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club
This was a lot of fun, and now I want to go to Alaska.
Daniel Kaine
Feb 02, 2011 Daniel Kaine rated it it was amazing
Nelson Kunker is a script supervisor for the low-rated, late-night sketch show ‘Aftertaste’. One day he meets Roy Briggs, an Alaskan archaeology students, and part-time salmon fisherman. The two instantly hit it off, and Nelson finds himself being whisked away to Alaska for the summer. However, the two are accompanied by one of Nelson’s biggest crushes, actor Dylan Fabizak, who is looking to research a character for his comeback role. Will Nelson be able to resist the hunky, flirtatious Dylan? I ...more
Oct 26, 2009 Sophia rated it liked it
Shelves: sex, queer, alaska, 2009
Nelson Kunker is at a crossroads in life: single at thirty-four, he has to decide whether he is really talented or just gay. Working as the script coordinator at a late-night sketch television show and intermittently on his novel, Nelson meets two men who change his prospects in this witty, romantic but masculine story of art and gay love. In the same week, Nelson encounters Roy, a part-time salmon fisherman and archaeology student with soul mate potential when they bond over an obscure referenc ...more
Feb 12, 2015 Alistair rated it really liked it
Shelves: gay-fiction
Hurrah! At last a novel that's as humorous as it claims to be. Who would've thought a novel about salmon fishing in Alaska could be a winner. In short order,Nelson Kunker is fired from his go-nowhere job on a lack lustre late night television show, meets someone who could just possibly be the love of his life and becomes entangled in an embarrassing situation that makes national news. Thinking to escape his sudden and unwelcome notoriety he accepts an offer to help fish for salmon in Alaska, but ...more
Jon O
Jul 15, 2013 Jon O rated it really liked it
Shelves: gay, romance, humor, favorites
I really loved Remembrance by Bob Smith. So, it was normal for me to have a high expectation of Selfish and Perverse. Definitely a worthy book to own and to read. Some lines got me chuckled. This book got the slutty gay character, the lack of self-confidence, the determined, the romantic and more.

The strange part was that it could be seen whom Nelson's perfect partner was. To drag Dylan to the end of the book was strange. In fact, the scene before Dylan's trouble was puzzling. It was clear cut t
Jul 13, 2015 Anthony rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved this book! The title is meant to be funny. Don't let it stop you from reading this book. I read the author thought it would be funny to see people reading this (and I admit I got some raised eyebrows). It's really hard to pinpoint the story here. To some, it will be a gay love story but I really think it's about a 30-something gay guy figuring out his life and what he wants in love and everything else. The characters are well-thought out and interesting. I couldn't put it down o ...more
Robin Graber
May 06, 2015 Robin Graber rated it it was amazing
Shelves: queer-as-hell
To be honest, I'm surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I found myself often telling the main character that he was an idiot, but I still couldn't seem to put the book down. It was well written and seemingly well researched. I thoroughly enjoyed the parts about fishing and the culture in Alaska more than I thought I would. I did find it slow in some parts and there were a few sexist jokes that I hated. I did enjoy the minor characters more than I have in other novels. All in all, I would re ...more
Jan 31, 2011 Mouse rated it liked it
It's always such a delight reading queer lit that doesn't read like bad fanfiction (not to diss fanfic but still). I'd reccommend this novel to people who want to read a fun and cute story involving guys falling in love and learning to resist temptation. The characters were endearing, fleshed-out and interesting. Quite funny too.

I also immensely enjoyed the depiction of Alaska and Coffee Point; made me want to visit that state and see real fishermen in action :-)
Mike Adams
Sep 29, 2014 Mike Adams rated it liked it
At the time it was published, this was an enjoyably different gay fiction story. The (slightly autobiographical) TV show job our protagonist has was not as interesting as the descriptions and setting in Alaska (pre- S@r@h P@lin- sorry, I can't even type that creature's name without a touch of nausea).)

A closeted movie star, a goofy writer, salmon galore and local characters reminiscent of the TV show 'Northern Exposure' make for a big funny, story of awkward romance and confused people.
John Bateman
Dec 19, 2014 John Bateman rated it really liked it
This book makes me want to visit Alaska and find my Roy. The nontraditional love story between Roy and Nelson felt charming, witting, funny yet potentially disastrous, and held my interest throughout the love/hate feelings I had for Dylan. Dylan, despite his ego mania, was like the kid who never quite learns how to ride his bike and became a mildly sympathetic lesson in self-centeredness. I loved this book.
Patrick Ryan
Mar 10, 2014 Patrick Ryan rated it it was amazing
The narrator goes on a first date and ends up on national news as he sinks into the La Brea Tar Pits. And that's just in the first part of this hilarious novel that, ultimately, makes Alaska hot -- and not in a global warming way.
Eddie Garcia
Mar 08, 2008 Eddie Garcia rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. It took me a week to read. The book just adds more reasons for me to go to Alaska. The author is one of my favorite gay fiction writers. He will have you laughing out loud. A must read for the 'mos out there :)
Aug 19, 2008 Kevin rated it it was amazing
Very clever and never boring. The quips make you laugh out loud while the loneliness and honesty make you hurt. It's a very clever read by on average comic. But this book turned me into a huge fan of his for life!!!
Mar 27, 2008 Mark rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. A romantic comedy that's actually romantic and funny. And sexy. And touching. It's like a good friend is telling you this really great story. Even teared up near the end. That's right, muthas!!!! Loved this book!!!!
Apr 17, 2008 Daniel rated it it was amazing
This is the second book I read by Bob Smith and I LOVED it! This one is actually in story format and was hysterical (and a little sexy). I couldn't put it down. If you like funny stories, Alaska, and titalating tales of hot guys - this book is for you.
Greg Schumaker
Apr 08, 2014 Greg Schumaker rated it did not like it
Poorly written erotica dressed up as a literary novel. One can't help but wonder what depraved acts the author had to commit to get the fawning blurbs on the (admittedly well-designed) jacket.
Jan 07, 2008 Ed rated it really liked it
best new fiction I read at the end of the year. hilarious.
Jason Tougaw
Jul 21, 2010 Jason Tougaw rated it liked it
I think you'd call it a romp. The writing funny (though broad), and the lumberjack character is hunky and irresistible. It's a book about finding the perfect man.
Jan 15, 2016 Kristina rated it really liked it
Shelves: yaoi
A book about choices. What to do with your life, where to do it, and who to do it with.
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