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Talk About Writers You've Found On The Web (2 Viewers)



Hi people, I'm Jane Byers, and regualrly read unknown, unpublished writers and help bring attention to the good ones I've come across as I've scoured the internet, and provide a review of their work.

I've been reading George Rostov's works after seeing him advertised him on lulu.com. I was intrigued by the titles - 'Courting the Abyss', 'Porno Mags and Desperate Dads', so downloaded some of his writing.

First of all, his style seems to be a knowingly self-aware mixture of William Burroughs (yet far more coherant) and Magic Realist writers, making for an exotic, heady concotion, some of which is particularly dazzling when he applies to every day scenarios, in which events spiral into surrealist nightmarish craziness.

Though I found 'Porno Mags and Desperate Dads' bordering on the obscene in places (George Rostov apparently is a rent boy, and makes frequent references to homosexual encounters), I loved it's Betjeman-esque parochialisms, though a familiarity with London (in particular Soho) helps with some of the more esoteric references.

'Courting the Abyss' is a collection of his online blogs (which apparently recieved a huge number of hits). Don't expect easy reading - I found it particularly disturbing, especially as his schizophrenia and drug abuse escalated out of control - some of the writing here puts Burroughs' 'Junky' to shame; it's hard to believe sometimes what's he gone through. The final blog left me horrified, as Rostov tells of how he deliberatly infected himself with Hep C as a form of protracted suicide. Again, it is quite obscene - though 'frank and honest' would probably be more reflective of it's disarming quality - but I found it provided a great insight into an underclass of which I hadc no knowledge.

'Schizo' is a Magic Realist adventure story - at the core of the novel is a beuatiful romance between Rostov and a blues singer called Mr Bojangles....don't expect Mills And Boon however....there's a particularly unpleasant scene with the hero undergoing a forced lobotomy, described in gory, graphic detail. It's premise is frightening and intriguing though, that schizophrenics can tap into wavelengths emanating from other dimensions, from which Mankind's nemesis is waiting to attack...the ending is incredibly sad, and Rostov's descriptions of loss and longing set this way ahead of the pack.

'Rentboy' is apparently his first novel....again, a Magic Realist exploration into his lifestyle as a male prostitute. The imagination at work here is breathtaking - I won't go into detail, as again, it is quite obscene in places (a giant pubic louse working as a governor in a prison for serial heartbreakers is probably all I can mention), but it is shot through with the blackest humour, and many of the somewhat unpleasant set pieces (specifically in the restuarant) will stay with me fora long time. At the heart of the novel is Rostov's search for love and self-belief - I imagine a lot of young gay men could find a lot here that would help them.

I found George Rostov on lulu, where he's currently offering his works as a free download, and though I love his writing, I must admit I've still got to buy the actual hard copies! Cheap skate! If you are interested in reading him, he can be found by typing 'george rostov into google - well, it worked for me. Alternatky, serach for his name on lulu

Next time I'm going to talk about a feminist poetess called Sandra Heartbreak that I've seen doing a couple of readings in my hometown.


Senior Member
Sorry, George. Not buying your books. But thanks for teaching us all a lesson in how not to promote a book.

This was funny.