Nathan Burgoine's Reviews > Fog: A Novel of Desire and Retribution

Fog by Jeff Mann
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it was amazing
bookshelves: glbt

If you've never read Jeff Mann before - either his prose or his poetry - then you are likely about to be both shocked and impressed. If you have read Jeff Mann, then it will not surprise you when I say that the balances between violence and compassion, eroticism and fear, assault and tenderness and an ever-present dance between destructiveness and hope are constantly tipping and shifting in FOG. Mann has a facility with binding the erotic with the dangerous and bringing the BDSM to such a highly charged place you can smell the sweat on the page - and in FOG, this is so painfully brilliant in its execution that I ended up gobbling the book in two sittings, turning the pages faster and faster and unsure whether I was racing towards a story doomed to disaster, or one where there might actually be some sort of hope for the damaged souls.

The narrative's set up will sound straightforward: a man wronged by a police officer in the past - Jay - has his partner Al kidnap the police officer's son - Rob - and the three men are together in a cabin during a particularly cold and icy winter. Jay has a dominant relationship with Al, but Rob's arrival sparks something in Al that threatens all of their safety and futures - a possessive compassion.

These three men, each broken in their own way, orbit each other in a spiral of assault, imprisonment, beatings, love, sex, blood, submission and domination that is so genuinely enthralling you'll be hard pressed - as I was - to put the book down. As things grow more tangled and the emotions of Al become more conflicted, the reality that not everyone is likely to make it through this time alive becomes all the more apparent, and the tension rises viscerally for the reader. As erotic as it is disturbing - and it is both - FOG lives up to its name. The lines blur, and the world around these three characters grows more and more narrow, closing in around them and leaving them with no clarity to find a way out.

I can't recommend this one highly enough. It's dark, yes, but it's just so damn poetic and beautifully written that even the cruelest moments are stunning.
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Reading Progress

October 4, 2011 – Started Reading
October 5, 2011 – Shelved
October 5, 2011 – Finished Reading
January 17, 2013 – Shelved as: glbt

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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Elizabetta Nice review! I too liked the tie between title and characters' inner spinnings. I especially appreciated the excellent writing AND editing.

Nathan Burgoine Mr. Mann is just phenomenal. I don't know of another author out there with that beautiful a turn of phrase who can take topics that are borderline brutal and make them so lyrical.

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