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The Giddy Death of the Gays & the Strange Demise of Straights

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  91 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Caroline and her Dom live out their normal lives amongst the poverty, alcoholics, and street preachers of Swansea, Wales. But when Dom and his straight roommate fall in love--a passionate, secret, non-sexual love--their lives are transformed into a queer chaos of cross-dressing, gender bending and free love. Will Dom hold on to his relationship? Can religious fundamentalis ...more
Paperback, 194 pages
Published June 1st 2015 by Lethe Press (first published May 26th 2015)
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3.95  · 
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 ·  91 ratings  ·  29 reviews

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Mike Mantin
May 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
'The Giddy Death of the Gays and the Strange Demise of Straights' is about queer life in a drab town, and features within its pages a violent homophobic attack, a white pride rally and a torched nightclub. But it's a testament to Redfern Jon Barrett's vibrant writing that the overall message is one of love, hope and happiness.

The novel introduces several young characters each with their own perspectives on getting by, ranging from stressed-out postgrads to a manic queer perfume counter assistan
Seregil of Rhiminee
May 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Originally published at Risingshadow.

Redfern Jon Barrett's The Giddy Death of the Gays and the Strange Demise of the Straights is a genderqueer humour novel with speculative fiction elements. It gives a wonderfully witty treatment to sexual and social norms by means of clever humour and fluent storytelling. It's a fascinatingly bold and original vision of change, acceptance, love and sexuality.

Before I write more about this novel and its contents, I think that a word of warning may be in order:

Christian Baines
Sep 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely delicious. Sweet without being cloying. Honest without being brutal. Redfern Jon Barrett steers his characters away from cliche or proselytising, instead telling of a very likeable poly trio's beginnings with wit, honesty, and just enough sass. Though it's inherently (unfortunately) subversive, the material here never strives to shock, and its challenges are gentle without ever feeling timid. A great supporting cast helps the tale along. There's even a touch of refreshingly optimistic ...more
Darren Cadwallader
May 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comedy
If dark romantic comedy were a genre, this would be it. Giddy Death is funny and vibrant, and despite its dark wit still manages to be hopeful and charming. The story follows a handful of disparate twenty-somethings living in a fading small town populated with drunks and racists, as they figure out how their relationships do (or should) work. The path they strike out on diverges from the expected, a quickly-changing situation moving from same-sex platonic love to a polyamorous trio.
The strength
Rob Ridings
Jul 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I can't stop talking about how great this book is!
I am not a literary type, by no means, but the story was very engaging to me. The characters were very likeable and easy to relate to. Even though it took place in a small city in Wales, the cast was extremely diverse.
All types of people with an open mind will find characters here to relate to. Monogamous or polyamorous. Straight, gay, lesbian, bi, trans and so on. This book is a fun read and the love story is so heart-warming! Buy this book, no
andy hill
May 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All you need is love.

It took me a while to get into the writing style, but am I glad I persevered. My life has been a similar story of inappropriate and socially unacceptable love, and I have compromised too many times, denying loves from an innate human fear of being alone. This is a story where the characters made it work, and accepted that they couldn't force love to fit a mould, as none of us should. I thank the author for rekindling my hope that I might yet find others who accept my propens
Apr 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: amazeballs
Aw, I just finished reading it a few minutes ago and I feel all warm and fuzzy. This book has a special place in my heart now; the characters are all so raw and vulnerable that I couldn't help but be affected by them. They're at the most precarious place in life before they've had a chance to find themselves or build any kind of stability, and the book charts their battles to establish themselves and take control of their lives in whatever way they can.
Oct 03, 2017 rated it liked it
I have to say the title put me off at first - and, well, it is a good indicator of author's sense of humor, which doesn't quite resonate with mine. But fair enough, I'm here for non-normative relationships, even if they concern unlikable/implausible characters. I'm here for kinda casual use of queer pronouns and petty gay scene drama. I'll even withstand the endless reminders how everything around the characters is worn down, shabby, cheap, and ugly. In the end, it's an okay novel which doesn't ...more
Oct 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
In Swansea, Wales, a nightclub burns down. A seemingly small incident, but inflaming a section of the community keen on white pride and general bigotry. Word flies while the club burns and Dom, his girlfriend Caroline and flatmate Richard, Richard's sort-of-friend Rutti, and their friends are all drawn to the flames. To each of them, the destruction seems to portent a significant shift in their lives. Can each of these friends weather the coming storm?

The story:
Rutti and Richard have been living
Alex Goldberg
Jun 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Giddy Death of the Gays & the Strange Demise of Straights is a wonderful tale chronicling the adventures of a wide variety of fascinating characters. Narrating through the perspectives of various main characters, the reader encounters a multitude of situations in Swansea, ranging from homophobic violence, the unifying event of a terrible nightclub on fire, and the discovery of a love that none of the characters expected. The writing style is quite dark and comedic, interspersed with mome ...more
Hemant Rajput
Jan 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book was an interesting read. I was a bit anxious about it as I had never read any story revolved around Gays. But I was totally wrong in my assumption. The author puts across the story beautifully without bringing any Gay cliches that we see on every TV series. The characters are put forward in the manner which seemed very realistic and how actual people behave. No sparkling or glittering bullshit that many assume about Gays.

I had a bit difficulty reading at some point because of the local
Sep 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
As a not native English speaker I had some difficulties to get into the gender neutral writing.
At the beginning the reading was a bit halting.
Like a challenge and now the gender neutral pronoms add zest to the reading.
So far, so good.


5 stars
Rebekka Steg
The Giddy Death of the Gays and the Strange Demise of StraightsThe Giddy Death of the Gays and the Strange Demise of the Straights by Redfern Jon Barret is a beautifully written novel detailing our obsession with gender essentialism, monogamy, romantic love and sexual attraction. But what happens when we question these things? If we didn't divide people into two genders, admitted that it's possible to love more than one person at the same time, or realized that it is possible to deeply love someone, even if you are not sexually attracted to that person?

Well, I enjoyed this more than the blurb led me to expect. (For one thing, the phrase 'Caroline and her Dom' is very misleading; it should probably just say 'Caroline and Dom' or 'Caroline and her boyfriend Dom', because 'her Dom' strongly suggests D/s to me, rather than just... a bloke called Dom. And undertones of BDSM have me dreading a Fifty Shades-style debacle before I even begin.)

I dunno. I am so conflicted about this book, but not really in a 'Ooh, it challenged my assumptions and really
Carmilla Voiez
Sep 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The back blurb described this book as humour, but for me it was a beautifully touching emotional ride. Poignant, sometimes sad and very relatable, but ultimately full of hope. It was about a group of people living on the edge of society's conventions and suffering rejection, violence and self doubt. I loved it and would recommend it to anyone interested in bisexuality, pan sexuality or big lives lived in small traditional towns.
Priya Bhakta
This book is so joyous. It's the first book I've read with a poly relationship at the centre. It's a story about multi-dimensional queer life, finding yourself when you're stuck in a town with no hope, and finding that hope through love.
Sep 28, 2015 marked it as to-read
Shelves: lgbt, fiction, humor
Because Jason likes the first page.
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Bonus points for unique. This book didn't need them, however. It was at times hilarious, poignant, and thought provoking. Add in a bunch of individual characters, realistically flawed, that I actually adored and rooted for. I liked all of them, in their own flawed way (this never happens).

A lot of reviews mention it is (at least partially) speculative lgbtq fiction, but I don't really know what they mean by that. It is a well written, unique story, from 4 distinct point of views. It is linear, b
Jun 15, 2018 rated it liked it
My first book with gender neutral pronouns. Glimpse into polyamory. Especially fun as a listen to get the Welsh accent.
Jerry L. Wheeler
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It’s no coincidence this novel of rebirth begins with a nightclub conflagration, for all four point of view characters here must destroy something to rebuild it. Despite the multiple points of view, this story about gender fluidity and polyamorous relationships, flows logically. Much has been made in other reviews of a few jumps to the future, and it’s true the first is jarring, but the change in point of view is interesting, and I found myself looking forward to them. Interesting read that will ...more
Jul 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Thank you Goodreads for sending me this book. A story set in Swansea, Wales, the book is essentially about relationships and how they are perceived. We cannot help who we fall in love with, or if in fact we are capable of loving more than one person at the same time. There is humour and fun in the book and a great story is also told.
Zuzu Burford
Nov 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
What a read when Dom, Richard, and Caroline attempt to have a complicated polyamorous arrangement. Steph, , Craig, Rutti, and numerous minor players contribute to this fascinating, and original story.
Straights, Gays, Lesbians, cross dressers, faeries, Nazi thugs are a great mix of characters that make this a story like no other.
One of the books for 2016 from Redfern Jon Barrett.
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A love epic spanning decades that challenges the skepticism around homoromanticism, homosexuality, bisexuality, sexual fluidity, and polyamory. It seems like much to extravagant a title at first glance, but it’s title in a way helps you prepare for the story of the book. I love how the girl wasn’t just tossed aside as oft happens in the stories but was still equally loved and respected!
Darren Mitton
Jun 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Quite FUN!
Aug 07, 2018 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the parts of this book set in current time. The characters were likable and the self-exploration and identification each experienced was wonderfully written. I especially enjoyed the romance between Richard and Dom. HOWEVER, I hated the interjecting chapters regarding the future twenty some or thirty something years out. These included spoilers about the main story line and didn't really contribute anything in my opinion. They were distracting at best. I would have given this bo ...more
May 05, 2019 rated it liked it
It starts a little confusing and gets more confusing. The flash-forwards didn't feel consistent, although I could logically figure it out.
Some characters were somewhat interesting, but didn't have a lot of depth- it was more about their relationships with each other than individual personalities.
But very queer.
Diana S Bitchinbookreview
The writing was a little confusing when switching between charachters. Could'nt even finish the book.
Christian Paula
Jan 11, 2016 rated it liked it
A story of a budding polyamorous relationship in a small town and the obstacles they face. I really liked how Redfern displayed the central tryad and all the complications that can arise. I also enjoyed his take on gender nonconformity, something I haven't encountered in a serious way in fiction before.
That said, the plot itself was okay. At its core, the story is a coming out story in a small town, so you can predict where the story will go pretty easily. It is a novel take on the format, but
Clay Brown
rated it it was ok
Sep 14, 2015
rated it really liked it
May 27, 2018
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Audiobook version now available! 1 4 May 23, 2015 02:01AM  

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Born in the north of England in the summer of 1984, REDFERN JON BARRETT is a writer and polyamory rights campaigner. Having gained a doctorate in literature from Swansea University/Prifysgol Abertawe in 2010, he is the author of two novels: The Giddy Death of the Gays & the Strange Demise of Straights (shortlisted for the 2016 Bisexual Fiction Awards in New York) and Forget Yourself (Lethe Pre ...more