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Song of the Loon
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Song of the Loon (Loon Songs Trilogy #1)

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  87 ratings  ·  21 reviews
“More completely than any author before him, Richard Amory explores the tormented world of love for man by man . . . a happy amalgam of James Fenimore Cooper, Jean Genet and Hudson’s Green Mansions.”—from the cover copy of the 1969 edition

Published well ahead of its time, in 1966 by Greenleaf Classics, Song of the Loon is a romantic novel that tells the story of Ephraim Ma
Paperback, 248 pages
Published May 1st 2005 by Arsenal Pulp Press (first published 1966)
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While at first glance Song of the Loon seems to be little more than an overripe sexual picaresque, very quickly the physical journey that structures the narrative begins taking on deep psychospiritual resonances as each handsome and hunky man the main character encounters helps him understand and embrace some part of his physical attraction to other men. The intentionally grandiose tone and mythic aspirations can seem rather overwrought and more than a bit silly when read today; perhaps even mor ...more
Sarah Sammis
I read the first thirty or so pages but it was like reading James Fenimore Cooper writing slash. I don't like Cooper's style of writing on a good day. Today is not a good day.
Patrick Gibson
I can’t recall ever reading a gay novel. A couple short stories over the years, maybe. Not really had any interest. But a tattered copy of ‘Song of the Loon’ popped up in a box of 60’s novels at the flea market. While looking at the somewhat familiar cover (the book used to be everywhere in the 70’s, I think) the seller said, “that’s a classic—first of its kind—started the gay revolution.” Okay, I’m all for any kind of revolution, so take my dollar…

This turned out to be a surprise. It’s pulpy, f
Wow. I first read this book back in the day. It is amazing that this book was first published three years before Stonewall! I can't think of any other book that is so celebratory about gay sex and gay identity. And it is remarkably well written. A must read for anyone who has any interest in the development of gay literature. And this edition has some wonderful supplementary material included that helps place the book in perspective in regard to its place in gay literature.
Adam Dunn
I finished it. That’s a good thing.
The book itself is tedious. For the first 60% the book follows a simple pattern and then rinse and repeat. The hero sails downstream, meets an Indian, they have sex. Within the first hour of their being together they tell each other they love each other and have never loved another more. They recite long drawn-out poetry to each other. Then the hero moves on downstream and the process begins again.
There is really no description of native life to keep you intere
Ephraim MacIver is escaping his one time lover, following the course a wise man has advised him – a course to discover himself - when he encounters an Indian Singing Heron. Singing Heron already knows Ephraim’s name, and begins to instruct him in the ways of the Loon Society, and before sending him further on his journey of discovery they fall in love. As Ephraim’s quest continues he meets more Indians as well as Cyrus, and he fall in love with them all.

As Ephraim learns more of the exclusively
First heard of this book and the movie that it engendered when reading The Front Runner. Billy Sive confesses to Harlen Brown that he'd long nurtured a fantasy of making out with his lover in a tiny, seedy uptown theater while watching "The Song of the Loon."

It was several years later that I finally came across a copy of the book and it was just as "pulpy" as Billy Sive said it was and yet... I could understand the sentimental attraction.

These books were obviously produced as labors of love, Thi
Gerry Burnie
Gerry B's Book Reviews -

The so-called “Stonewall Inn Riots” of 1969 are considered the ‘enough-is-enough’ turning point in GLBT relations with the broader public, and the predominantly homophobic officials who policed it. Likewise, in Canada it was the 1982 “Bathhouse Raids[1] that gave rise to the Gay Pride demonstrations. Imagine, therefore, that the Song of the Loon, by Richard Amory [re-released by Arsenal Pulp Press, May 1, 2005] was first published three
Mar 10, 2013 Jaya rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: yes
Shelves: good, slashreaders
SlashReaders LJ: Alright well, I've been looking at a number of books recently, republished books put out by 'Little Sister's Classic's', recently. Someone else actually mentioned this book a while back. So I finally decided to pick up a copy of it.

I find this book fascinating, because I feel that to some extent it is something more serious wrapped up in the guise of something less serious. I actually read the introduction after reading the novel, which only made me feel more strongly about that
I understand that this was risky and edgy in it's frank depiction of gay sex. The story, set in the mid 1800's in the world of the forests and mountains of the west, has the potential to be a good story. However the sheer ridiculous of the encounters, delivered to the protagonist with a conveyor belt rapidness is hard to believe. It is a world of gay men where women apparently simply do not exist. The only thing the Indians and white men are interested in, is professing their love for each other ...more
May 05, 2014 Steve rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Gays
First published in 1966, this little novel actually reflects a lot of that time, even though the story takes place in the late 1800's. There is not even a mention of a single woman in the book. The word "love" is used more than any other word and the hippies of the 1960's would feel right at home with the continual love-fest in the world of the Society of the Loon.

The story is actually one of discovery of what life means to Ephraim McIver, the main character, Ephraim explores different ways rela
This book has some historical significance; it was one of the first gay novels out there.Not that I'm complaining, but compared with gay novels today, it's pretty much soft core porn.
The characters were interesting. Set in the early settler days, Ephraim, the main character, is trying to escape a relationship by traveling into Indian country. He discovers a rare tribe that believe in the "way of the loon". He goes thru many male lovers along his journey, til he meets Cyrus, a fellow settler.
David Allen White
An early gay classic that I always wanted to read. Now I have. It was OK, not that great.
I can't believe this book had only been published for seven years when I first read it because it already seemed to be coming from a different, more innocent world. I loved it then, and found it very sexy though maybe a little, er, size-obsessed.

The poet Jonathan Williams once told me that Richard Amory was the pen name of a woman. Can anyone confirm, or refute, this?
Earl Cousins
It's much better than I thought it would be, and despite the idyllic situations (part of the author's use of 'pastoral' conventions perhaps?), manages to capture the confusion and contradictions of self-acceptance. It's a shame it was out of print for so long (about 30 years), but better late than never.
Mar 10, 2013 Scott rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: lgbt
Coming out of an era where pulp gay fiction ruled, this book crossed over into literature within its erotica. Native American berdache myths linked with pioneers of the trapping variety brings about quite a soul-searching tale.
pre-stonewall gay "pastoral" erotica-- camping, hunting/gathering, archery, swimming, indian dances, a psychedelic spirit quest, and lots of gay sex. very fun.
Cheesy good romance between a buckskin wearing pioneer type and a flute-playing Native American out in the wild. With the emphasis on the word "cheesy."
Robert Fucci
A classic loved it then loved it again in its latest printing.
James Miller
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Our Story GLBTQ H...: colonial America 1 8 Nov 02, 2014 09:38AM  

Other Books in the Series

Loon Songs Trilogy (3 books)
  • Song of Aaron
  • Listen, the Loon Sings...
Song of Aaron Listen, the Loon Sings... Frost Willow Song Naked on Main Street

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