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4.06  ·  Rating details ·  62 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Does gender really matter? Kel and Toni are two damaged people, both trying to find answers. But, where Kel’s hopes for the future lie mainly with outreach programs and a new life with his lover, Toni’s looking for absolution in a bottle of Mexican hormone pills.

Kel loves Toni obsessively and—though he supports both of them on the money he gleans from turning tricks and i
ebook, 1st edition, 297 pages
Published November 5th 2013 by Dreamspinner Press (first published March 5th 2010)
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4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  62 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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Feb 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Laura by: Read along with Ilhem & deirdre
Shelves: favorites

”I think of you as you

I don’t have the words right now to express my love for this book. Just know I loved every word. Savored every word. Beautiful writing and a beautiful love between two people who truly saw each other down deep.

I highlighted and bookmarked my whole way through this book--line after line and page after page. This line traveled with me today.

”It is true; words are just words, but the meanings they carry, the way the world bends around them, that’s what’s complicated.”

Ilhem &a
There are times when a book is almost too much. Can a story be too real? There are also times when a story transfers physical pain through the pages. It hurts and you are left aching afterwards. Sometimes the wound is so deep, it scars.
I have a new scar on my heart and its Filth inflicted.

This story hits and it hits hard. I’m still dazed and though I saw great beauty within the pages, I did not love it. I cannot neglect the outstanding writing, nor can I overlook the exceptional charact
Jul 06, 2015 rated it really liked it

About this book – it’s a brave piece of storytelling, it’s unapologetically honest, and it’s groundbreaking. When I see the original publish date, I’m shocked. Why haven’t more people read this? It feels IMPORTANT.

About the story – well, it’s a LOVE story. But it ain’t pretty. It’s about 2 young men that are CHANGING…and dealing with how individual change impacts a relationship change. And how confusion, and depression, and fear, and lack-of-acceptance, and anger…and the full spectrum of emotion
Nov 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m, gender
Buddy re-read and joint review with Laura and Deirdre to celebrate "Filth"'s release by DSP after the closure of Loveyoudivine Alterotica.

This is one of my favorite stories guys! It's food for thought, beautiful language, realism, love, amazing characters, all in one wonderful package.

On to the review...

”It is true; words are just words, but the meanings they carry, the way the world bends around them, that’s what’s complicated.”

The three of us read Filth 9 months ago and we couldn't let the re
Jan 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-king
How difficult it is to give you a fair idea of what this book is packing! There is so much to say and I don’t know where to begin.

Filth is talent and the power of words dedicated to the discovery of two human beings, to a story that grips you from the author’s note to the very last word while it carries you along the flow of Toni’s and Kel’s trains of thought : erratic, worried, scared, lonely in their own chapters and their use of flitting pronouns.
Until ugliness catches up on them and violence
Jan 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh this book. This book made me so happy because it was thought-provoking, simplistic but complex, with two people each struggling on their own and trying to figure out how they fit together.

What you have is Kel and Toni, both with difficult pasts and difficult presents. Working as prostitutes, recovering from drugs and the party lifestyle, regularly getting tested for STDs, buying medications off the street because the idea of figuring yourself out finally is stronger than waiting and seeing if
Feb 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, trans

4.5 Stars

Filth is a raw and powerful book about courage, acceptance, pain, fear, love, hope, and strength, with the underlying theme of gender. How do we identify ourselves? How does the world identify us? Does it matter what words we use to define ourselves? Why is there this constant pressure from society to decide which part of the spectrum we fall under? These are questions that plague Toni and Kel.

This isn't any easy story to read. Toni and Kel live a tough life. It’s gritty and dangerous.
Nov 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-mm
I have owned this book since it's release back in 2013 and every time I decided to read it I managed to squirrel off to something else and now I know why. Let me start by saying this book is incredible. It is well written, it is a story that desperately needed to be told.

Toni wants to be a girl. She wants what is outside to match what's inside. She's probably not taking the best route to get there. Especially the whole self medicating that really had me holding my breath. Such a bad, bad idea. B
Nov 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

”I think of you as you

I don’t have the words to express my love for this book. Just know I loved every word. Savored every word. Beautiful writing and a beautiful love between two people who truly saw each other down deep.

I highlighted and bookmarked my whole way through this book--line after line and page after page. Absolutely gorgeous!

”It is true; words are just words, but the meanings they carry, the way the world bends around them, that’s what’s complicated.”

Ilhem & deirdre--Thank you
Sep 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Filth is a fascinating study in gender, love, pain, and sheer strength. This is an absorbing and engaging story to read yet the main characters, Kel and Toni, are anything but easy. Though the subject matter is intense and moving, the story doesn’t ever feel depressing or heavy. This is not an angst filled novel with drama at every second but there is a quiet intensity that comes through. This tension keeps you glued to the story, turning page after page with no clue what will happen and where t ...more
It's tough, and it's ugly, and I expected it. Which is why I started reading it with the firm intention of turning right back and leaving it to rot in my ereader a little longer if I realised, during the first twenty or so pages, that it was darker and more intense than what I was in the mood for.
It was, but I didn't. Because I was completely sucked in after meeting the two main characters - two lost souls, as dramatic as that may sound, that scratch and bite and scream and hurt themselves at ea
3,5 stars. Rounded up because it really made me think.

This was a strange book, a very odd, unconventional novel. I’ve read it a while ago and have been putting off writing the review. I want to do this book justice but somehow have a hard time formulating my thoughts.

I think what it came down to for me is that this novel took on too many complex, complicated issues at once.
A nuanced treatment of almost every one of these issues could properly fill out a separate book:

*The insidious influence of
One of the best books I've read all year. Though I have quite a few transgenger and non-gender conforming friends and know, as cliched as it sounds, that gender is largely a performance this book was still quite informative/eye-opening. King's characters were wonderfully developed. I wanted paint Toni's toenails, style her/his hair, be that empathetic ear "they" needed. And we should all be SO lucky to have a partner like Kel. I just want to eat him up; to be acquainted with such a complex, unus ...more
Nov 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Filth is the first book I have read about a transitioning main character. Toni is physically a man. She identifies as a woman. Toni is unable to afford the quality medical care or proper dosages of medication required to undergo such a major change. She buys her drugs on-line from Mexico and decides her own doses according to what she has read on the internet. Kel loves her to distraction. He supports them both by turning tricks. Toni used to work as a rent boy, but Kel can’t handle the thought ...more
Sep 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book is beautiful in it's raw portrayal of love. There is no perfection here.

Kel is the strong, silent type. He makes the wise decisions. He goes to his 12 step meetings even when he doesn't feel like it. Toni is moody, picks fights and never knows what he actually wants. Toni goes with his/her feelings.

OR maybe not :) Don't label these boys is one of the underlying themes. In the end, you are left with a feeling that this couple will continue pulling themselves out of the mire (like they h
Jun 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Over at Boys In Our Books, we took on a reading challenge, put forth by Ilhem. This was a difficult book to read for many reasons, but first and foremost, the challenging subject matter and thoughtful and truthful way in which the author presents the two MC's. Our thoughts on the book are here.

I would recommend giving this a read, starting up a conversation, and open a dialogue. You won't be disappointed.
Aimee ~is busy sleeping~
Apr 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
I've re-read this several times. It's gritty, intense, and the writing makes you feel sometimes removed, but an ultimately beautiful and fascinating glimpse into the relationship of two very complex people. Wish more people would read this.
Potential Snappa and Glittah Crack buddy read.
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
Thank you for the gift, a thankful elf!!
T.M. Smith
Jan 14, 2014 rated it it was ok
Kel and Toni are two broken souls that stumbled upon each other and became an unlikely couple. Kel supports them both on the money he makes turning tricks with a few less than savory clients. Toni spends his days perusing the internet and ordering hormone pills offline from Mexico with dreams of becoming a she. Kel loves Toni more than anything, but Toni’s obsession with making the transition, not to mention the extreme mood swings the illegal hormones cause, are driving a wedge between them.

Sarah Masters
Mar 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I adored this book and the main characters. An absolute must read for M. King fans.
 A well written compelling story of loyalty and devotion with such realism of truth and despair. The characters are both pushed emotionally beyond what some couples may think is extremely unreasonable, but love runs so deeply between them that despite what their heads might tell them, their hearts hold on, never giving up.

Kel loves Toni to the core, though he is unsure of his feelings for the changes that Toni is making. A part of Kel feels that Toni has made a mistake and doesn't know what he w
Nov 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m-romance, mel-lpr
I struggled with whether to give this book 3 or 4 stars. I settled on 4 because my lack of connection with the characters was more my fault than the author's. It really is a very well written book and a really good examination of the struggles facing people with gender identification issues and the people who love them. I did enjoy it and parts of it were quite riveting; I just had a hard time connecting with the main characters, particularly Toni and her indecision as to what she really wanted ...more
Feb 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This one gets 5 stars because M. King ventures into a land I've never read about, one that most people never consider.

She wasn't able to bring the characters alive fully, something fell flat and they remained trapped in the 2-dimensional realm.
Despite this flaw, I think the champion in this book is Kel dealing with Toni's mood swings, ups and downs and most difficult for him, Toni's transition. We didn't get into Toni's head enough, but Kel's inner dialogue was so revealing and beautiful and w
Jan 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
I'm still a little bit confused by this book. Not sure how I could spend so much time in the main character's heads but still feel no connection to them. The most difficult part for me was that they were supposed to be having this strong relationship but they rarely spoke to each other. They were confused about what was happening in their own mind and we're totally clueless about what was going on in the other person's mind.

It all boils down to one major problem, I felt no emotional connection t
Lisa The Novel Approach
Nov 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
M. King writes eloquently about the feelings of despair and loneliness a person feels when they are born in the wrong body. My heart broke as I read about Toni just never feeling “right”. When she presented as a man, she felt she wasn’t masculine enough. When she presented herself as a woman, she felt she lacked femininity. I kept hoping for a happy medium for her.

See the entire review at The Novel Approach:
Mar 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
I was torn on how to rate this book as it wasn't written in a style that I particularly enjoy. I prefer dialogue driven stories but this one spent a lot of time in the heads of the main characters. I have never read a story with this type of conflict. It was interesting and new enough to me to keep me reading. I wanted to see how it all turned out for them but in the end I didn't really feel captivated or emotional about the relationship between Toni and Kel.

3.5 stars in my head but I am giving
Nov 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This isn't a quick or easy read - it's a difficult journey.

Beautiful writing, captivating characters and a story I'll always remember. This book makes you think and realize there are no definite answers to many questions.
There is a satisfactory ending but I'd love to follow these characters along their journey. I want more.
Love Bytes Reviews
This book was reviewed by Love Bytes Reviews.
Oct 28, 2010 rated it liked it
interesting, but somehow distant, so I never felt emotionally involved ...
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Buddy read 63 14 Feb 21, 2013 12:25PM  

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M. King writes gay fiction with an emphasis on romance and erotica.

She lives in a damp and verdant corner of south west England, where she may usually be found behind a vat of coffee and a keyboard.

As of 2011, if you enjoy M. King's style, you can also check out her work as Anna Reith - non-explicit cross-genre fiction.

Visit her at:
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“... words are just words, but the meanings they carry, the way the world bends around them, that's what's complicated.” 1 likes
“The more Toni thinks about it, this whole deal has never been about being a guy thing or a girl thing. It’s comfort, it’s freedom, it’s confidence…and why should that have to be split down the middle?” 1 likes
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