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Full Service

Scotty Bowers came back from World War II as an ex-Marine who’d fought in the Pacific. He went to work at a gas station in Hollywood. One day a famous Hollywood (male) movie star dropped by for gas, picked Scotty up and took him back to his mansion for sex. A few days later, a friend of said movie star asked Scotty to fix him up with a handsome friend. Scotty did. And in the process began a ‘career’ of fixing up stars and others in the movie business with casual dates. He wasn’t a pimp; he took no money for this. He just saw it as a service to friends – both gay and straight. In the process, he had sex with a LOT of very famous people.

Is this book salacious? Yes. Is it gossip? Absolutely. Will it surprise/stun/amaze you to read about what some very famous names got up to? That’s probably the reason you’d buy it in the first place. Yet somehow it never reads like a kiss-and-tell written for the money. (Even if it were.) Scotty Bowers liked sex, had a lot of it, and helped friends and acquaintances have a lot too. He doesn’t deny any of this. He admits his shortcomings in relationships. There’s no attempt to be PC about anything. And I think it’s the combination of all this that manages to make the whole account – like its narrator – rather charming.

Even if it did leave me amazed at some of the revelations.

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Set in Stone

Mourning his wife, a man goes to stay with her sister (and husband) in a strange moated house, a house with a history of murder and treason. What follows is more than readable, but increasingly impenetrable. I could never decide whether it was a story of wartime treachery and betrayal, a murder mystery, or a ghost story.

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It has all three strands, but as they become increasingly entangled, I grew increasingly mystified and finished the book feeling as though somebody had not only just pulled the rug out from under my feet, but had then started beating me over the head with it.

Set in Stone has many enthusiastic reviews on Amazon, and Robert Goddard definitely knows how to keep you reading, but this one lost me completely.

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