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Ripe: Letters

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4.16  ·  Rating details ·  19 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Funny, sexy, evocative, and brutally honest, Ripe is Alan Semrow’s ode to relationships with men. In this epistolary book, Semrow writes to the men who have impacted his outlook, reminded him of basic life lessons, surprised him in more ways than one, and left him reeling for days. Writing to one-night-flings, men he has never met, and men he’ll never stop running into, Se ...more
Paperback, 152 pages
Published October 1st 2018 by Independently published
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  19 ratings  ·  16 reviews


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Gabi
*A free copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review via the MMRG Don't Buy My Love program.*

This guy lived! :D
He's like a bee, drifting from flower to flower, always looking for something and only he knows what that is exactly.

Through these numerous letters he has written to men about their meetings, we get to experience the joy of life. From what little I gathered, Alan is a carefree man, and craves connection. These encounters (a planned hookup or a coffee wit
...more
Skirmish
Mar 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: de-facto, lgbtq
Book Reaction: https://neverhollowed.com/2019/03/05/...
Rating: 3 Stars – not exactly setting my world on fire but I liked it

Thank you to the author, Alan Semrow, for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.
...more
Joyfully Jay
A Joyfully Jay review.

4.25 stars


This collection of micro essays chronicles the flings, romances, and loves of author Alan Semrow. The essays are formed like impromptu letters to the narrator’s former lovers. Each one has a title reminiscent of “Dear John,” but captures some facet of what Semrow shared with his partner. Some entries are purely about the physical, but others explore somewhat deeper connections There are a number of people who have sailed in and out of the author’s life, and while
...more
Sandra
Definitely not my usual fare, as this is non-fiction, written entirely in memoir-style short letters to the many men the author has met or seen over the course of learning about himself and who he is.

Each letter details a moment, a few days, a few weeks, in the life of the author, ruminating about encounters with men, some with whom he spent some time, and some he never even met, and learning about himself and life in general as he explores the intricacies of intimacy, friendships, relationships
...more
The Celtic Rebel (Richard)
I received a copy of this last fall from the author in exchange for a review. I had several books ahead of it so it has taken me awhile to get to it. I enjoyed this a lot. I definitely look forward to reading more things from him.

I loved how each of the letters to his former lovers easily drifted from one to the other. I kept thinking as I read along that 'o wow this one was my favorite' and then the next one would make me say it again. In the end it was hard for me to say which one actually wa
...more
Joey
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’m always skeptical of gay writers writing on gay subject matter. They either knock it out of the park or slither into a culvert filled with refuse. Semrow hit a home run. Honest. Vulnerable. Compelling. He’s the first gay writer I have seen in many years who can write erotically without actually being erotic. Hints and suggestion make for really beautiful poetry. Although it’s billed as a book of letters, it’s much more than that.
Nocturnalux
I received this book in exchange for an honest review

Ripe: Letters is, indeed, a collection of letters. Here lies its greatness weakness and its greatest claim to interest.

The epistolary genre, as such, is something of a throwback to earlier phases of the history of literature. This particular entry does much to do away with the tradition even as it does revive it by its very being. For starters, each of these short letters is addressed to a different man and covers a considerable brief moment o
...more
Heidi Lynn’s BookReviews
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
First, I want to thank Alan Semrow for providing me with this book so I may bring you this review. I would also like to thank Jasmine Jordon for allowing me to be a guest reviewer on her blog Jazzy Book Reviews.

RIPE Letters by Alan Semrow was unlike any other LGBT book I had ever read before. Then again I love when authors go outside the box and do something different. Alan decided to write letters in this book but to me it felt more like a diary. There are about 45 letters total in this book.

I
...more
Love Africa Book Club
This book reminded me so much of my teenage years when writing love letters to your crushes was still a thing. Each chapter is a letter addressed to the persons the author had relationships with, some very brief and some others even from a distance.

While some of these letters weren't exactly love letters, they were written from a place of love, highlighting how those encounters no matter how brief impacted the author positively.

From Dear 'Birthday Guy' to 'Daddy', 'Blondie' to 'Athlete', each le
...more
Brady Jones
Dec 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq-library
I’d never read a book of paradoxes before, but here we are.

Semrow’s book ‘Ripe’ - a hybrid of epistolary memoir and poetry - is directed at everyone and no one at the same time. While each letter offers a portrait of one of his sexual encounters, after reading a few of them, you’ll realize this is as much a portrait - intentional or unintentional? - of the author himself. And while he’s being brave and vulnerable, letting the world into the most personal parts of his life, there is also the sens
...more
Felipe Oliveira Alves (Felix Mefisto)
I really enjoyed reading this book, I haven't read a book in english in a long time and I intend this to be the first of many to come this year. But I never thought I would go through such an experience. From my rating it is clear that I liked to read but I will be more specific with the reasons for that, the texts are quite simple in a way, but the writing brings a delicacy and a level of exposure, which I was shocked. Being an autobiography in letters focused on the author's relationships, it ...more
Jarrett Neal
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Few gay-themed books provide a focused, insightful view of the modern gay dating scene. To be young and gay in the twenty-first century is nothing like it was in the heyday of the post-Stonewall 1970s or the years prior to Stonewall when dating among gay men was shrouded in a quilt of homophobia. The fact that Ripe sloughs off all of that makes it a great read.

Alan Semrow is a letter writer of enormous gifts. In Ripe he crafts a series of missives to an assortment of hook-ups, would-be-boyfriend
...more
Amy Shannon
May 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Wonderful Collection

A collection of letters from a gay man about his life and journey of exploits, so-to-speak. I enjoyed reading this book, and how it showed a story. I wasn't sure of the book cover, but I've learned to never judge a book by it's cover. The letters were interesting, and who they were addressed to, was funny, yet endearing. The letters are raw and erotic, but not-so-detailed, where it leaves a lot to the imagination. One of my favorites was entitled or written to "dear two weeks
...more
Rita
Mar 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
I liked the book, it was an easy and fun read, however the letters did not feel like letters to me. For me it was more like looking into someone's bullet journal, which was filled with doodles, diary entries, random thoughts and reminders about particular events and persons, therefore it gave important life lessons and personal development tips to the writer himself. I would recommend the book to other readers who are not looking for anything dramatic or challenging to read at the moment.

Many th
...more
Mike Cullen
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ripe is an exceptional sophomore release by young, gay writer Alan Semrow. Possessing the same voice as his short story debut, Ripe goes into a different direction, as a collection of letters to the men Semrow has had experiences with, regrets with, and even moments of missed connections. Sexual orientation aside, these are experiences that millions of people have every day, but with Semrow' punchy use of language, his ability to expose himself figuratively, and topic matter with considerable br ...more
Shweta
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
**A free copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for a honest review via the MM Romance Group ‘Don’t Buy My Love’ program.**

A very refreshing, captivating and feel-good read.

This collection of memoirs, though presented in an epistolic manner, weaves together (through snippets of hidden revelations found in between the lines) a story of the author’s journey - finding his footing in a new city, exploring untrodden paths, as well as discovering his self identity; in the backdrop of
...more
Monica Johnson
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Jun 21, 2020
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Aug 26, 2019
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Alan Semrow
Dec 05, 2018 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: wrote-it
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Alan Semrow’s fiction, nonfiction, and poetry has been featured in over 30 publications. Apart from writing fiction and nonfiction, he is a contributor at Chosen Magazine and a singer-songwriter. Previously, he was the Fiction Editor for Black Heart Magazine and a Guest Fiction Editor for the Summer Issue of Five Quarterly. Semrow’s debut short story collection, Briefs, was published in 2016. Ripe ...more

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