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A Room in Chelsea Square

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  55 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Publisher: GMP Publishers Ltd Date of Publication: 1986 Binding: soft cover Edition: Condition: Very Good Description: 0854490205
Paperback, 208 pages
Published August 1st 2003 by Gay Men's Press (first published 1958)
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Average rating 3.36  · 
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 ·  55 ratings  ·  14 reviews

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May 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gay-historical
Imagine Wodehouse set in the 1940′s with a gay main character as rich as Bertie and used to getting his own way in all things. It’s not a comedy, as such, although it has some amusing moments, it’s more a witty satire and an exploration of a particular set of men–gay and otherwise–in 1940′s London.

Patrick is, as the first line describes: “very, very rich.” He’s currently single, and, as the book opens, he’s shopping for presents for a handsome young man he’s recently met in the country. With eas
Feb 09, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An odd little book. In the 1958 edition I have it was still written by Anonymous.
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sort of Dangerous Liaisons via The Boys in the Band (excuse the anachronisms), this short work tells of rich and manipulative Patrick and his select victims and associates in post-WWII London. Nicholas is his new target and Patrick sets him up as his new boy-toy, but Nicholas is (deservedly) hesitant.

Patrick toys with his colleagues about starting a magazine. Among those he enlists are the eccentric fashion, wine & cuisine snob Ronnie, the bumbling painter Christopher (who, despite his self-d
John Anthony
Oct 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Published in 1958 but written much earlier. It is set pre WWII. A period piece perhaps. The characters are generally effete hedonists who people a world that I rather hope doesn't exist anymore. Patrick is Rich Queen Bitch par excellence. There are other characters here who rank pretty high up on the obnoxiousness list too.

This is the sort of book that can give a queen a bad name..but it is probably worth reading for the times in which it is set and the particular breed depicted here. There are
Monica L
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very funny yet very sad. It reminds me of "The Catcher in the Rye." It is a very real story. I have known many women that get into similar situations. Very modern even if the book was written in 1958. ...more
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
You know those dreams where you're running through quicksand trying to catch a bus that you just can't get to? That's what reading this is like. ...more
Aug 31, 2020 rated it liked it
Bit of a shaggy-dog tale, this. It's like one of those dreams where things keep not happening. From page to page to page, very little unfolded. While that may have been intentional, it sapped my investment in the narrative. When I thought stuff might actually be happening, or when it focused on Patrick and Nicholas (the two best-written characters in the novel), I got excited. But ultimately, it left me hanging, with the characters pretty much in the same position where they started (except for ...more
Funny rather than witty. My Gay Men’s Press edition from the 1980s has an illuminating introduction clarifying the book’s autobiographical basis. It was, apparently, his own experience that the author portrayed in the character of Nicholas — a young journalist whose sexual favours Patrick (a fantastically rich man in his 40s) courts through not-so-subtle financial inducements.
The kept boy’s perspective comes across so effectively in Nicholas’s musings that at times I found myself almost persuade
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"You see, humanity is ugly at the best of times. But it's ugliest when it tries to be beautiful, because it's being dishonest. Everyone in here is dishonest. They upset me terribly."

"Remark the pure paleness of the amber with its suspicion of green."

"You observe the absence of a spirit lamp," he said. "A senseless and barbaric Victorian innovation."

"I only ask one thing of you," said Patrick. "Do be careful of the pictures. If you don't like them turn them to the wall. But please don't throw thi
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is an old fashioned (written in 1958) gay comedy of manners. It is the story of a handsome and naive young man recruited from the provinces by a rich and sophisticated older gay man. Need I say more. It reminded me of early Patrick Dennis and a prologue in the GSV edition that I read explained the whom the leading characters were based upon. I first heard of this book in the Edward Gorey biography because Gorey designed the cover for the earliest American edition. I think it has been recent ...more
Erik Van Linden
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I found this a great and entertaining read. ‘There continually occur moments in one’s life when one has to choose between possessions and integrity.’
A bit of a dark view in the human, gay soul. As much as I would like to deny it, there is a lot of insight in this book.
Nice pageturner!
Apr 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Hmmmm this was a delicious book to read. It was filled with some characters that are ghastly, witty, high camp, sycophantic, cowardly, gluttonous, sadistic, megalomanic, crestfallen, heinous, devious and remorseless.

Nov 20, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Moloch by: Visto alla Libreria Feltrinelli di Perugia
Merito della copertina se ho notato questo libro fra i tanti che affollano gli scaffali di una grande libreria della città; e a questa bella copertina (di chi è l'immagine? Non c'è scritto nulla nel libro) ho scoperto che corrispondeva anche un contenuto potenzialmente interessante, perciò, dopo qualche mese di attesa che comparisse nel mercato dell'usato, ecco che il libro è stato acquistato, letto in poco più di un pomeriggio e ora recensito.

Questo romanzo uscì anonimo nel 1958, quando ancora
Adam Dunn
Sep 17, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: glbt
Got to 46% and happily gave up.
Lines like "That wasn't first prize for the largest marrow at the Four Square Gospellers' flower show." make no flipping sense.
The book is described as camp. Maybe in the 1940's when it was written and everyone was still being rationed and rebuilding after the war this was camp, but not now. The Green Carnation is a much better example of camp in a much older book. Choose that one instead.
I couldn't keep the characters straight, didn't care what happened to the
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Valancourt Books: Lambda Literary Review: ‘A Room in Chelsea Square’ 1 10 Jun 26, 2014 01:53PM  

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