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

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  109 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
"You are Ephraim MacIver!"
Thus strangers greeted him as he made his way through the wilderness. His coming was heralded ... eagerly awaited by the lonely noblemen of the forest, and they guided him in his search for new meanings to the word love ... for a new self, that he must learn to love before the love of others could be truly his.
Mass Market Paperback, First Edition, 191 pages
Published 1966 by Greenleaf Classics
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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.
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
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
Hannah Givens
I never know how to rate a historical novel. The book itself was kind of boring? But I love it. It was probably the most well-known gay books of the 60s, an insta-classic. So I love that it's extant, that it's been republished, and that the new edition has such awesome extra material included. (Interviews with the author shortly after it was published, a great introduction from Michael Bronski, etc.)

And actually, even though I was bored, by the end I'd started to understand the author's perspec
Dec 18, 2007 Karl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 30, 2015 Colin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My husband asked me to read this years ago, so I did. I'm not sure if I would have bothered to finish it otherwise, but in retrospect it was worth reading, if for no other benefit than the conversations it triggered between us about different types of relationships and the significance of a book like this one in American gay history, which I had initially under-estimated.
Mar 10, 2013 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Adam Dunn
Feb 05, 2014 Adam Dunn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: glbt
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
Oct 28, 2014 Benjamin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gay-cowboy
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
Apr 16, 2012 Garnet rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 27, 2011 Joseph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 22, 2014 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  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
Thomas Conner
Jan 30, 2016 Thomas Conner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this book. It is gay pulp fiction published in 1966 but it is well-written and stands as the first underground gay novel to become a world-wide best seller. The author received none of the rewards; he sold the manuscript to Greenleaf Classics for $750. This book helped open the way for gay literature to climb out from underground. Plus, it's a beautiful story! It is dated and a product of its time but I still love it!
Tim Farmer
Apr 24, 2016 Tim Farmer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Besides being an historically important book in the gay lit genre, it is a fun, sexy (though NOT politically correct by 2016 standards) gay fantasy. It also has strong morality lessons couched in parable-like scenarios. I just found this book, but wish I had read it back in my formative years because it not only explicitly describes sex between men but also makes it romantic and normal and "manly" at a time when gay men were called sissies, pansies, or nancy-boys.
Earl Cousins
Aug 04, 2011 Earl Cousins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 07, 2008 Charles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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?
Feb 16, 2013 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 18, 2012 J.P. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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."
Dec 14, 2011 Chris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Sep 14, 2012 Cecil rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Robert Fucci
Aug 28, 2010 Robert Fucci rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A classic loved it then loved it again in its latest printing.
David Allen White
An early gay classic that I always wanted to read. Now I have. It was OK, not that great.
Jul 09, 2011 Anthony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: smut
pre-stonewall gay "pastoral" erotica-- camping, hunting/gathering, archery, swimming, indian dances, a psychedelic spirit quest, and lots of gay sex. very fun.
The Master
Dec 28, 2016 The Master rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At last! I should like to read more Westerns like this one.
Sala Bim
Sala Bim rated it really liked it
Jan 25, 2011
David rated it really liked it
Jan 23, 2011
Max Zumstein
Max Zumstein rated it liked it
Mar 21, 2014
David rated it liked it
Nov 20, 2016
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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...

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