ABS-Olutely Fabulous Reads

By Bahr, David | The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine), January 19, 1999 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

ABS-Olutely Fabulous Reads


Bahr, David, The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)


What did we want from our literature in 1998? Sex, laughs, and a buffed torso on the cover

As any good rent boy knows, nothing sells like a fab set of abs. And nowhere has the power of crunches been more evident than this year in gay publishing.

Doug Guinan's California Screaming (Simon and Schuster, $24), that wickedly witty, pec-packed tale of a boy and his mogul, shaped up to be one of the biggest successes of 1998. The dust jacket of an embossed ripped torso proved that, at least in the discerning eyes of many men, packaging is still everything. Incidentally, Dennis Hensley's Misadventures in the (213) (Rob Weisbach Books, $24), another fictional romp through the Hollywood Hills, offered a cover short on beef-cake and, according to some bookstores, came up shorter on sales.

No one best-seller list tells the story for all of gay publishing--and this story is based not on written lists but on informal reporting. But according to several of America's leading gay and lesbian independent bookstores, stomach muscles weren't the only body parts selling the written word. It was a good year for sex in general, say representatives from A Different Light in New York and California, Lobos Books in Texas, and Lambda Rising in Washington, D.C., as well as mainstream national operations Barnes and Noble, Borders, and Amazon.com. Hot titles for various booksellers included Straight? True Stories of Unexpected Sexual Encounters Between Men, edited by Jack Hart (Alyson, $11.95), Friction: Best Gay Erotic Fiction, edited by Gerry Kroll (Alyson, $14.95), and Best Lesbian Erotica 1998, edited by Tristan Taormino (Cleis, $14.95).

Indeed, no cost seemed too high for a glimpse at human flesh, photographed or drawn. David Leddick's stunning paperback pictorial history of lads' loins, The Male Nude (Taschen, $29.99), and the illustrated The Art of Tom of Finland (Taschen, $69.69) flew off store shelves despite hefty price tags.

The sexy cover of a partially undressed football player with, yes, great abs helped make Dan Woog's Jocks (Alyson, $12.95) one of the biggest nonfiction titles of the year. A much-sought account of gay male athletes, Jocks also revealed readers' lust for books on gay lives. The Best Little Boy in the World Grows Up (Random House, $23.95), Andrew Tobias's sequel to his classic 1973 memoir, The Best Little Boy in the World (which was also reissued as a Modern Library hardcover 25th anniversary edition at $15.95), was wildly popular across the country.

Perhaps fueled by the Ellen controversy, Family Outing by Chastity Bono (Little, Brown, $24) topped many national lists, while Generation Queer by former bodybuilder Bob Paris (Warner Books, $23) performed well over the Internet and in superstores like Borders.

Demonstrating that gay and lesbian readers like to laugh as much as they like to make love, humor scored high on the sales charts.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

ABS-Olutely Fabulous Reads
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.