Baba ♥♥♥ Tyler, Marcus, Archer, Dean, Adrian, Dan & Hunter's Reviews > The British Devil

The British Devil by Greg Hogben
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Aug 04, 12

bookshelves: m-m, male-authors, five-star-reads
Read from August 01 to 03, 2012

REVIEW COMPLETED AUGUST 4, 2012

Thoughtful. Thought-provoking. Evocative. Disturbing. Witty. Hilarious.

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From the blurb
The British Devil is a semi-autobiographical novel exploring culture, religion, and love in a bi-national relationship.

The writing is excellent and I am a bit surprised that I loved this book so much because I have to warn you, my smut lovin' GR friends, this book is a sex-free zone. Now that we have covered a very important part of every m-m novel, let me get down to business.

I *think* The British Devil is a very personal take of a gay Brit on the state of rights and acceptance of gays in the USA. Furthermore, I am convinced that the author's comments will come as a shock and as an eye-opener for a few readers. He is very straightforward as well as very honest. I love that. To tell the truth, I feel pretty blown away.

The British Devil is a fabulous read that addresses a lot of interesting, yet at times very sensitive subjects that so many gay couples have to deal with. The author is covering topics such as long-distance relationship issues, gay rights and marriage, DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act), culture shock, the bigotry of right-wing fundamentalists, religious conservatives, military issues ("Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy), general prejudices and defamations of gay people, etc.

gay-marriage

Frankly, I am very impressed. I was so hooked from the get-go and one thing's for sure: The British Devil never disappoints. The narrative is fabulous, and the author did a superb job of portraying two great, multi-layered main protagonists and many complex secondary characters as well. Ben (the author) really sucked me into his story. He has a very descriptive and engaging writing style. And yet it never felt too much. I wanted to absorb every word and I just adore his sharp wit and wicked tongue. Very, very good! Even though the story deals with some disturbing issues, I never got stuck and the author has such a great way of intertwining his wry observations and British humor. You just want to read it. I was embraced by so many emotions while reading this book. There's sadness that made me choke up, and yet I found myself smiling on a regular basis and I even had some laugh out loud moments too. On the other hand, I was fuming at times and I was out-of-my-mind angry while reading the final 10 % of the story. So, here comes the point where I have to say a few words about Danny's Bible-bashing mother.

She is unbelievable. I am a very peace-loving woman, however, in all honesty I can say that I wanted to throttle her; I wanted to punch her. Shut your evil mouth you b*tch. Every time I had to deal with Vivien, I felt how I was working myself up. Sheesh, are you for real, woman?

"Jesus Christ, you really do believe that, don't you? It's a good thing that you believe in hell, Vivien, because it won't be a f*cking surprise when you get there."

Frankly, I couldn't believe that a loving mother would want to spoil her son's happiness by terrorizing his lover. Simply put she wanted him out of Danny's life. Moreover, she even enjoyed her evil deeds. Seriously, what I think of this woman is unpublishable.

"(…)But she has changed. I hardly recognized her personality when I got back from Bahrain. It's like I keep trying to explain to you. I can see what she's like, but she's still my mother, and I love her. She has said some of the most outrageous things to me since I came back, but I know it's not her voice, but the church's. That's why I give her so much grace with the things she says or does. I'm always so happy to see her, but at the same time I get waves of sadness that she isn't who she used to be. It's like grieving for someone who's still there. She's just not the same woman I grew up with."

Maybe she's been brainwashed by the church?

Well, and then wonders never cease, right? Almost at the end of the story there is an earth-shattering dispute and Vivien recognizes their love. Now, why am I not happy? In fact, I just couldn't buy it. Throughout the whole book she was spitting her mean and otherworldly venom and then out of the blue she makes this one-eighty? I'd say a one-eighty is not good enough, lady!

Overall verdict
The British Devil is a very remarkable m-m book that takes you on a difficult yet hilarious journey from London across the Atlantic Ocean to the USA. You can feel it…this book is a matter of the heart. Highly recommended!


"And, Momma, if there is a separate heaven for gay people," Danny continued with a smile, "well, you'll just have to come visit." He raised his mother's chin gently with the side of his index finger, forcing her to look at him. "I hear it's on a rainbow, not a cloud, so at least you'll get some color."

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"Around the same time, the first Gulf War kicked off. The same people I had grown up with were going crazy about fundamentalists in Iraq and Afghanistan, but forgot all about the wars that Christianity had started and all the lives that had been lost in their God's name. I listened to middle-aged, seemingly intelligent people say the craziest things. In one breath they would make a point of telling you how Christian they were, because they gave beans to the local food drive, and in the next breath they said gay people were going to hell and called black people 'niggers', all the while condemning almost anyone in the community who had a hint of individualism.
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Quotes Baba ♥♥♥ Tyler, Marcus, Archer, Dean, Adrian, Dan & Hunter Liked

Greg Hogben
“Let me put it this way: I am not a bad person, so if there is a god
I would hope that he would judge me on what I do and who I am, as
against someone that does believe but still doesn’t live a good life.”
Greg Hogben, The British Devil


Reading Progress

08/01/2012
0.0% " Photobucket
I hope this one won't be tedious. 6,12 EUR for a book is ok if this one will be a great read." 8 comments
08/02/2012
41.0% "I *think* this book is more than slightly autobiographic. I suppose this will be a clean read. Meaning, when Baba keeps reading a clean book, then it has to be darn good. Excellent writing. Very thought-provoking, evocative, witty. A story with depth and substance. Even funny. As far as I can judge I'd say highly religious readers won't be delighted with this book though."
08/02/2012
65.0% ""Thanks, Mrs. Taylor!" I said, holding my voice in jest. "Perhaps one day we'll be able to afford to buy you some manners. I am British, so I'm lucky enough to have them taught to me for free." What a mean, mean, mean and hypocritical b*tch! I.N.C.R.E.D.I.B.L.E. My verdict: rejected. I mean Danny's mother. The book is excellent!" 2 comments
08/03/2012
81.0% " Photobucket
Frankly, I'm a little bit surprised how much I love this book because it's a sex-free zone after all. I really like how many subjects the author is covering with this story. Very interesting." 2 comments

Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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message 2: by Karla (new)

Karla Nicely done Baba! Sounds like the book gives the reader a lot to think about.


Kristen (Peddler of Smut) I'm glad this one worked out so well for you, Baba. Nicely said already but I look forward to your full review.


Baba  ♥♥♥ Tyler, Marcus, Archer, Dean, Adrian, Dan & Hunter Karla wrote: "Nicely done Baba! Sounds like the book gives the reader a lot to think about."

Thanks, Karla. Yes, it was a thought-provoking read. Really well done.


Baba  ♥♥♥ Tyler, Marcus, Archer, Dean, Adrian, Dan & Hunter Anna wrote: "Great review Baba! It seems like a very interesting book :)"

Thanks, Anna. Well, it was not my usual m-m read but sometimes it's good to read something different. I really enjoyed it!


Baba  ♥♥♥ Tyler, Marcus, Archer, Dean, Adrian, Dan & Hunter Kristen wrote: "I'm glad this one worked out so well for you, Baba. Nicely said already but I look forward to your full review."

Thanks, Kristen. I'm pretty glad myself. LOL It was a very good read.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Awesome review, Baba!


Baba  ♥♥♥ Tyler, Marcus, Archer, Dean, Adrian, Dan & Hunter Lazy_jeff wrote: "Awesome review, Baba!"

Thanks, Lazy!


message 9: by KatLynne (new)

KatLynne This sounds like a very thought provoking read. I'm glad it worked for you Babs with all the issues it covered. Great review!


Baba  ♥♥♥ Tyler, Marcus, Archer, Dean, Adrian, Dan & Hunter KatLynne wrote: "This sounds like a very thought provoking read. I'm glad it worked for you Babs with all the issues it covered. Great review!"

Thanks, KatLynne! Some parts I loved and are very funny and some parts are pretty disturbing. Overall it was a very thoughtful and thought-provoking read and I enjoyed it a lot.


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