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The Road to London
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Romance > The Road to London - dark, quirky, surreal

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message 1: by Adriano (last edited May 20, 2014 12:07PM) (new) - added it

Adriano Bulla (adriano_bulla) | 313 comments description

Dear All,

The Road to London is a dark, surreal, quirky romance, gay in a way, but really for everybody.


When time and place play tricks with your birth, what can you do apart from creating your own imaginary world, then run away from your own creation, to a new life?

A boy is born, some time in the recent past, in Milan, Italy, yet backwards when concerned with 'different' sexualities, and Fate wants this boy not only to be of an intellectually and socially dominant nature, but of a sexually and emotionally gay and submissive disposition.

Unable to explain himself to himself, unable to relate to the world, this soul creates his own world, through dreams, drugs, alcohol and lies, while from a distant place, a club in London, and future, letters to his beloved My Dear look back at his life in Italy with parallels in a romance yet to be.

He tries to be 'normal' and have relationships with girls, he tries to be honest, and open himself up to his love and friend, but life has decided only pain, rejection and suffering should come of it, for the time being at least.

But little glimpses into another, maybe possible life, sparkle here and there through his life, his dreams and into his heart...


A light... A birth... A journey... An escape-not just from the whispering noise of expectations but from the growing awareness of a different life, a different path, a different quest. The greatest love letters are written in prose but bring forth the poet's heart, awakening in the receiver an equal passion-or so the writer hopes. This love letter tells the story of how I reach London, how I reach you, My Dear, how I come to love so deeply, so truly and completely. The journey was not easy, beloved. I faced many ugly trials on this narrow path-but also tests that were... Fun, naughty, spicy and the stuff of memories which will make me smile into my old age, whether you are with me or not. I have no regrets, My Dear, except one... Just one...


You can read an excerpt here:

Or read part of the first chapter on Amazon (though the first chapter is the most 'normal' where lies and dreams only start to appear).


Regularly updated with reviews, articles, interviews etc.


A few quotations from reviews (so far, all 5* or 10/10)

'One of the greatest and darkest romance stories I've ever read' - Best-selling author Sarah Luddington

' impressive work of art' and 'a seismic shift in the direction of literature.' - Dr M. Rossi, Books etc.

'...beautiful is the first word that comes to mind when reading The Road to London. Impressively so, originally so and idiosyncratically so. The beauty of this novel has left me speechless...' and 'it has all the qualities of a classic.' - William Barrett,

' This novel has been an eye-opener for me: it looks at the world from a perspective that I had never considered, just in between the conscious and the subconscious, between the individual and the universal. It mixes genres, from young adult, to coming out, bildungsroman, romance, fiction, fantasy with an ease I had not thought possible. There are extremely beautiful passages in this novel, yet the harsh reality of discrimination is always there not just as a reminder, but, ironically, to create the very beauty of its words. Instead of looking at psychology with a rational mind, this book looks at it from a symbolic perspective, which is why it explores both the conscious and the unconscious, both reality and dreams.' - Billy Best, Book Review Circle

'At times a colloquial narrative and, at others, heroically poetic, it is a tale of a soul adrift on a sea of adolescent uncertainty, honest, quirky but accessible. The swings in style are marked by the same structure in each chapter but they are a bit like Picasso or Stravinsky – you’re constantly taken by surprise and find yourself enjoying the ride. The descriptive writing and dreamlike sequences are beautiful and his metaphors are original, unusual and so effective that you go back to absorb them again.' Author and blogger Roger Hardy

This is just a selection: there are many other reviews, on, here on Goodreads, on Shelfari, on and other sites.


Well, it's different from any other novel, you might have guessed. So far, 'surreal', 'dense' and 'poetic' seem to be the most common adjectives used.


The novel came to me, every word of it, while dancing in a gay club in London.


It's about sexuality, eros, love, homophobia, bullying, fetish, coming out, coming of age, lies, dreams vs reality, drugs, music, friendship, becoming gay, self-denial, but also how the universe has a place for all of us.


Because I'd love readers to give him one. This novel is about you...

Ade (Adriano Bulla)


message 2: by Adriano (new) - added it

Adriano Bulla (adriano_bulla) | 313 comments Thanks Billy,

You've made me blush.


message 3: by Adriano (new) - added it

Adriano Bulla (adriano_bulla) | 313 comments I didn't write it. It wrote itself through me.

Well, I can't comment on what critics say. Once a book is published, it belongs to the readers.

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Adriano Bulla (adriano_bulla) | 313 comments Sheila wrote: "I GOT IT!!!!

I think. I was talking here with another Goodreads reader, and it came to me... I've been thinking about this novel for a month now...

Does it explain the meaning of death? please ..."

Dear Sheila,

It deals with the meaning of death for sure; whether it explains it, we'll, I think that is a journey for readers to take.

I can't just cut and paste excerpts; The Road to London has three publishers, there are copyright issues involved, so, excerpts need to be agreed before I can post them.

There's one here and Amazon allows readers to read part of the first Chapter (though I understand the first Chapter is the least 'bonkers' or unusual in the novel).


message 5: by A (new) - rated it 5 stars

A Whole | 3 comments I love this book. I love how it shows respect for all differences, even the way it makes having a fetishist sexuality be like something people suffer from because of prejudice, but in reality it's a beautiful thing and not just; it's a way of seeing the world.

message 6: by Sam (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sam Jenkin (UKPoetryLive) | 8 comments Sheila wrote: "I'm not an expert on the Kabbalah but Edith, my girlfriend, who knows more about it than I do, pointed out how numbers are given with a meaning in The Road to London : these are t..."

I hadn't noticed references to the Kabbalah; yet again, I know nigh on nothing about it, apart from what I have learnt studying (and teaching) John Milton.

Interesting, though. So, I've just done a bit of research in numerology and yes, what you point out is intriguing.

I'd read the words 'Yes, I will, yes....' As of course a reference to Ulysses although I did not understand how Ulysses is related to The Road to London till I read an interview with the author, who says he wanted to make Modernism easy to read, and I think he's extremely successful in doing it. The Road to London is a very easy book to read but has an infinity of meanings. I think this is what makes this novel unique. One can read it as one wishes. I'd go as far as to say that it's the novel that reads the reader.

Anyway,back to the Kabbalah, I'd thought 'Yes, I will, yes...' Was a statement from a cosmic force promising the gentleman to whom the book is dedicated, whom we see 'jumping' at the very beginning, apparently to his death, that he will be saved through this novel.

There is no doubt that this novel deals with the supernatural, yet it does it in a very original way: from the point of view of the supernatural itself, so, possibly, 'Yes, I will, yes...' is the mission statement of the Ray of Light?

message 7: by A (new) - rated it 5 stars

A Whole | 3 comments Ok, I'm not as educated as Sheila or Sam, but I still love this book. I don't think you need to know all the things you say to fall in love with it. I think it's its honesty, the story and the style that really got me.

But good for you for spotting all the things.

I think it's a book full of many meanings and secrets, yes.

message 8: by Adriano (new) - added it

Adriano Bulla (adriano_bulla) | 313 comments Oh Sheila, and thinking that the first time I spoke to you, (was it here or on Shelfari?) I was actually scared... Your last post made me cry; I read it walking down the street and sobbed away like a child.

I try not to say too much in these threads, as I feel readers should be free to discuss without having a writer interrupting all the time, but I do read all the posts, and maybe I should thank everybody for your interest and kindness.

But your last post, well, that touched me quite deeply. The way The Road to London and Stephane are connected, well, it's something I can hardly explain in words. He listened to the whole novel as she came to me. When the first words came to me, 'Yes, I will, yes. I will save the world, the universe and you,' and I 'recited them to him, well, I didn't know who was speaking; I didn't know who was 'you'. After he died, I realised that was Stephane's voice from beyond the grave, and I realised that 'you' was me. Well, I'd better stop before I have another moment...

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Adriano Bulla (adriano_bulla) | 313 comments Thanks Damian,

I also must thank author Kenneth Fore for nominating The Road to London and 'outing her'. Since I returned to the publishing world after a break of eight years, I have found a much more supportive community of authors than when I left (there was no community at the time), and the support of readers and authors the Internet allows is incredibly comforting.


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Adriano Bulla (adriano_bulla) | 313 comments A big thank you to all readers for voting The Road to London April Book of the Month in Modern Good Reads.


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Adriano Bulla (adriano_bulla) | 313 comments I would like to thank Lit Art Magazine for their amazing article on how The Road to London translates paintings and the style of artists such as Picasso, Turner, Whistler and Dali into Literature:


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Adriano Bulla (adriano_bulla) | 313 comments John wrote: "Adriano wrote: "A big thank you to all readers for voting The Road to London April Book of the Month in Modern Good Reads.


Hello John,

Thanks for your post. It's really kind of you.


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Adriano Bulla (adriano_bulla) | 313 comments From the manuscript


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Adriano Bulla (adriano_bulla) | 313 comments Library of Erana's interview on The Road to London :

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Adriano Bulla (adriano_bulla) | 313 comments 'The Future of (Gay) Literature', The Gay UK's review of The Road to London:

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Adriano Bulla (adriano_bulla) | 313 comments Live from London to New York, on THE TALENT REAL TALK SHOW with VANESSA VANNEY THOMPSON.

12.30 AM EST

5.30 AM (London UK)


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Adriano Bulla (adriano_bulla) | 313 comments YOUR FAVOURITE QUOTE

Just for fun... here are a few quotes from The Road to London; which one's your favourite?


message 19: by Adriano (last edited May 18, 2014 09:43AM) (new) - added it

Adriano Bulla (adriano_bulla) | 313 comments A quotation from the Chapter 'Flight and Light' of The Road to London set on Salvador Dali's The Endless Enigma.


An Article on Art in The Road to London in Lit Art Magazine

message 20: by Adriano (last edited May 20, 2014 06:55AM) (new) - added it

Adriano Bulla (adriano_bulla) | 313 comments Simply cosmic Love, a passage from one of the letters to My Dear written in the London gay club, coming from the future, or just mental letters...


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Adriano Bulla (adriano_bulla) | 313 comments Stephan wrote: "Adriano wrote: "YOUR FAVOURITE QUOTE

Just for fun... here are a few quotes from The Road to London; which one's your favourite?


I would have chosen other quotes: there are..."

Hello Stephan,

Thanks. Originally, I'd chosen more than twenty quotes to be put in the poll, then cut them down to ten. Some may not be the most memorable sentences, but I would like those to stay in the book, as you mention about the last words...

No, there will not be a sequel to The Road to London; I like to write something new every time. Whether I will ever have the inspiration to write another novel is still a mystery to me, so, I don't even know if I will ever write another one, but should I, it will be something completely different. I would feel like I'm cheating if I follow on from a previous writing.


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Adriano Bulla (adriano_bulla) | 313 comments description

message 23: by Adriano (last edited Sep 12, 2014 03:47AM) (new) - added it

Adriano Bulla (adriano_bulla) | 313 comments There are things that, being a writer, really bring warmth and sunshine into my life... Recently, some readers have sent me some really encouraging, really warm messages. There are no words, even for a writer, to say how beautiful it is when you find out that people really love the words you have written... Today, on the bus, I saw a tweet that mentioned me... It had been a rather dull day till then... I followed the link on the tweet and... Sunlight!

I am a bit old fashioned in some ways, so, if I know a reader, or in this case a professional reviewer, a magazine etc is writing a review of any of my books, I never contact them till the review is out. I just think this is the done thing not to influence them. The flipside is that I don't know when (sometimes if) the review is out in advance. So, the trepidation when I find a link to a review is like a very quick, but very powerful rush...

Imagine my smile when a professional whose job is to read and review books writes 'The Road to London is above anything else that I have read this year,' and 'a modern day classic!' Well, the joy this review brought to my day and beyond will have me smiling for a long, long time:

Book review of The Road to London>>

Dreams of London

Night dreams, day dreams, the dreams we keep locked in drawers, nightmares and saucy (but not wet) dreams are a major theme in my work as a novelist and poet, and I will explore this theme in Dreams of London , a live performance with passages from The Road to London, Queer Poems and Ybo' and Other Lies.

For those who have already seen me live, maybe at the Sussex Guild of Poetry, University of Sussex annual recital, there is no need to warn you not to expect a stiff reading behind a ledger... If there is something I have learnt from teaching for so many years is that Literature can be fun... A lot of!


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Adriano Bulla (adriano_bulla) | 313 comments The radio interview for The Authors Show with host Linda Thompson on The Road to London will be broadcast worldwide on Monday, 6th October 2014.

Linda, the producer and myself think it's a very good interview; I need to thank Linda for being so easy going, warm, and so well-informed... There are some very interesting moments...some revelations, some soul searching questions...

You can listen to it HERE>> on the day.


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Adriano Bulla (adriano_bulla) | 313 comments The radio interview on The Road to London for the Authors Show is live for the whole day HERE>>


And this is me being camp...

message 26: by Paul (last edited Oct 15, 2014 01:20AM) (new)

Paul Lovell (powerpuffgeezer) Paulyanna International Rent-boy by Paul Douglas Lovell

Readers who liked : The Road To London -may like this too.

Paulyanna: International Rent-boy is a honest and frank portrayal of a working-class male prostitute’s life. Many factors contribute in delivering the main character onto the streets.

Some very typical, such as early abandonment, poverty, lack of education and sexual abuse. But Paul does not dwell too much on the past and refuses to allow these events to mar his ambition.

At eighteen a lost train ticket leaves him stranded in the city after a job interview. He uses his questionable wits to make a quick decision that steers him down a rather dodgy path.

Without added glamour or grit, Paul shares the raw accounts of his life as a rent-boy in the 90s, from London to Los Angeles. It may not have been pretty, and there was risk and danger as well as fun and thrills, but Paul had the audacity to succeed in his quest to obtain happiness, security and wealth.

…Using plain spoken truth, I have attempted to knock away some of the preconceptions regarding people labelled as damaged goods.

Discover the mind behind the glassy eyed smile of a male street worker. A stereotypical cliché? Perhaps.

This is my unapologetic story. A social history report.

message 27: by Adriano (new) - added it

Adriano Bulla (adriano_bulla) | 313 comments The latest interview on The Road to London is now live on Pebble in Still Water here>>

An out-take from the interview.


message 28: by Adriano (last edited Dec 03, 2014 01:09PM) (new) - added it

Adriano Bulla (adriano_bulla) | 313 comments The San Francisco Book Review have just posted their review of The Road to London, you can read it here>>


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Adriano Bulla (adriano_bulla) | 313 comments LIFE DREAMT and LIFE LIVED
is a recent post on my blog that talks about a tradition that is very, very dear to me, the oneiric tradition, id est that literary tradition, so alive in Classical and Mediaval times, that explores the world of dreams, rather than succumbing to the mantra of realism.


message 30: by Adriano (last edited Jan 05, 2015 02:40AM) (new) - added it

Adriano Bulla (adriano_bulla) | 313 comments A review by Amos Lassen of The Road to London couldn't come at a better time; it gives me the chance to offer all my support to Amos for all he has done for the LGBT community over so many years,reading and reviewing thousands of books, watching and reviewing thousands of films, and I must say, also showing us a positive attitude towards expressive works in an environment that has become more and more bitter, more and more focused on what's gone wrong rather than what good is in ourselves and others. Thanks Amos for the really wonderful review.

Amos Lassen's review of The Road to London

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Adriano Bulla (adriano_bulla) | 313 comments Hello,

With the latest wonderful review of The Road to London, by Amos Lassen>>, who has written more than 3,000 reviews, who says that he cannot 'remember ever reading a book so unique,' which honestly touches me, because when I wrote the novel I did want to write something original, to offer a 'different' reading experience to the reader, but I really never thought her originality would be so well-received and so appreciated by readers, well, a video trailer>> with snippets from reviews has been put together. These are taken only from reviews by professional reviewers and established authors, however, the last 'bit' does come from an Amazon review, because I personally love that review, and because the reader has given me, with the title of his/her review ( Travel off the Beaten Path with this ultra Cool Read>> ), ideas on how to present The Road to London to readers.

In fact, I think that if you write something unlike what has been written before, you find yourself, how can I say, with no precedents when trying to explain what your book is about to others... So, I take ideas mainly from what readers and reviewers pick up, and I do love the idea of reading off the beaten path.

As to Amos's comment that he doesn't know how I could follow this novel up, well, neither can I. I have been asked if I will write a sequel, and my answer has always been 'no'. I don't know... If something original comes to me, I'll write another novel, which I would like to be different from The Road to London, but at the moment I simply have not developed enough to move to the next stage. What I tend to do is try to extend and improve my style, while stepping back and considering where else I could go with my writing that I haven't gone yet and where there are only tentative or no steps that I know of. So, when I wrote Queer Poems, I stepped back and thought about my first collection of poetry, Ybo' and Other Lies, which (sorry publishers) I just thought was very unusual, but too self-centred and totally unreadable... The Road to London is easily readable, so that's not where I need to go with my prose, the only half-idea I am left with is to write what I had started long ago, a novel that can be read both forward and backward, but it's only an embryo at the moment...



message 32: by Adriano (new) - added it

Adriano Bulla (adriano_bulla) | 313 comments The theme of flight is central to The Road to London. As I said elsewhere, I borrowed it from Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison. In the same way as she presents flight as salvation along with the discovery of one's roots, in The Road to London through self-discovery and self-acceptance.

Here's the short video 'I Can Fly' >> where I read a passage from the novel.


message 33: by Adriano (new) - added it

Adriano Bulla (adriano_bulla) | 313 comments The latest interview (more of a stream of consciousness, really) on The Road to London, 'London is a Symbol of Freedom' is now available on Culture Drive >>


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Adriano Bulla (adriano_bulla) | 313 comments I'd like to thank Christina for filming the live reading of 'Between Dreams', one of the poems that appear in The Road to London, which I did at the Poetry Society in Covent Garden, London... I'll put the link beneath.

The sound is a bit low, as it's about a kiss given, as the title says, in one of those moments when you are in bed, just half-awake for a moment, then fall back to sleep...

The poem is actually much older than the novel, dated May 2000, and had already appeared on one of the very first poetry websites, UK Poetry Live >> , years ago. Looking back, I am always a bit amused by how our understanding of the word 'erotic' has changed... In fact, this poem received quite a bit of interest for being classed as 'erotic', and there weren't many 'erotic' poems on the web at the time...

I still stick to my old idea of what I mean by 'erotic', that is, relating to the passion and feelings of a sexual act, not the sexual act itself. Eros, in fact, means love, not sex (as opposed to Amor). Now, a poem about a kiss is possibly regarded as 'prudish'...

Between Dreams

As if in dreams, I rest my nose between
Your cheeks – the moon is sleeping on my face
Still wet with love and passion, silver drops
In rivulets of nectar flow down the slopes
And kiss my lips, disclosed like rose to dew,
And drown my face along a milky way
Of satin waves, and find the humid source
Of joy – a plump carnation brown and dark
Like loquat nested warm and snug in you;
A silent kiss I stole from slumber’s arms.

'Between Dreams' Live at the Poetry Society >>


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Adriano Bulla (adriano_bulla) | 313 comments A recent review of The Road to London on Amazon USA:


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Adriano Bulla (adriano_bulla) | 313 comments A review of The Road to London by another top 500 Amazon US reviewer:


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Adriano Bulla (adriano_bulla) | 313 comments 'It definitely elevates the genre to a new level.'

The latest professional book review of The Road to London.

Click on the picture to read the whole review


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Adriano Bulla (adriano_bulla) | 313 comments I'm jumping up and down... One of the biggest magazines in the world has dedicated 3 pages (!!!) of its arts and entertainment column to The Road to London... The Examiner!!!!


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Adriano Bulla (adriano_bulla) | 313 comments On 26th/27th March 2015 (depending on your time-zone), Gay Soul Radio will air an interview between Soul Dancer and myself followed by a live reading from The Road to London.

The interview is totally unscripted, so, forgive me if I go off a tangent; it won't be just about the novel though, the reading... well, hopefully I won't break down; I've chosen one of the passages that make me emotional...

The interview/reading will go live on 26th/27th then will be available for streaming at the same link.

(Click on picture for the link)


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Adriano Bulla (adriano_bulla) | 313 comments 'Thunder strikes... Light falls on a dream...'

Don't summer storms give you a sense of awe, of facing the will of the Universe, but also a great sense of freedom, of a new beginning?

The passage 'Thunder!' from The Road to London is just about that: about Nature deciding to wash away, with all her power, years of dusty suffering, of prejudice, of hiding...

Here's the video of a reading of the passage.

(Click on the picture to view the video)


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Adriano Bulla (adriano_bulla) | 313 comments An interview on The Road to London, organised by KMA Entertainment, will air /stream on 50 USA and Canadian radio stations (traditional and online) on 6th April 2015, 3 PM EST.

It will remain on KJAG's online page after that.

(Click on the picture for a short trailer)

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Adriano Bulla (adriano_bulla) | 313 comments The Road to London is now available in paperback in the UK for just £2.62 by clicking here>>>

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Adriano Bulla (adriano_bulla) | 313 comments 197 B STREATHAM HIGH ROAD
SW16 6EG

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