My Last Dance with Auntie Brie
by R. Naples
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Pub Date 21 Apr 2019 | Archive Date 03 Aug 2019
My Last Dance with Auntie Brie, Ron Naples' debut novel, is a gay erotic fictionalized memoir based on his coming out experiences in the '70s.
It is a vivid translation of a time when closet doors were nailed shut, but more than a vicissitude, it is also a peek back at the madness of the Disco Era. Raised an Italian Catholic, Ron escapes his disciplinary family life when he's introduced to his first gay bar.
There he meets Auntie Brie, a drag queen who shapes his destiny. His impending dream of becoming a professional musician is shattered when he is seduced into the gay party arena.
Feel the reverberations of the disco beat as Auntie Brie seduces you on to the dance floor. Revisit some of the infamous clubs of the day including NYC's Studio 54 and escape to the Cape on a summer vacation gone wild with one of Ptown's most prolific houseboys. His familiar tour de force reaches even farther with his insight and questions surrounding gay culture.
It delineates a 70's puritan society filled with fear and ignorance which ignited The 1979 March on Washington for Gay and Lesbian Rights to end violence and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
My Last Dance with Auntie Brie defines an entire gay generation who succumbed to the hedonistic lifestyle of that time which has now become legendary.
It carries the universal message of unconditional love and acceptance; we all need somebody to love us just the way we are.
A Real Page Turner! (barnesandnoble.com)
My Last Dance With Auntie Brie was an enjoyable read. It was a fascinating story with entertaining characters that held my attention. I thought it was well written, especially the sex scenes that were evocative - artful expressions of erotica; never vulgar. But there is so much more to it than that, it was a great story! Anyone with recollections of the Disco Era needs to read it. Naples masterfully recreated all the gay events of that time which brought back many fond memories of all the fun I had back in the day.
Plus 5 more reviews on Amazon
Average rating from 9 members
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of My Last Dance with Auntie Brie from NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
*Warning: Read the synopsis--this book is not for everyone.
This novel followed the exploits of a young man trying to find love. It included everything I expected to learn about non-mainstream behavior of the late 70's, but some of it still surprised me. Ron belonged to a side culture of that time period--which certainly had it rough--and was not accepted on the whole by the general public. (I can see how the nature of experiences easily lent themselves to the disease epidemic that followed.) That really must have been a difficult time to find true friendship and acceptance. Because of her unconditional acceptance, Auntie Brie must have been an exceptional woman who gained the respect and adoration of all who encountered her. (Although this was listed as a work of fiction, I believe that each of these characters and events had roots in truth, making them believable and obviously important to Ron.) What a brave author!
Thank you to NetGalley and Ron Naples for the ARC!
Late Seventies, early eighties gay life memories. There were some very poignant moments in this book but also some lighthearted ones too. "My Last Dance with Auntie Brie" was such a touching and interesting story. I liked reading of how Ron freed himself from his family (and the Catholic church) expectations. I cried with joy when Ron's parents made a surprise visit to Ptown and I felt sorry for the mysterious German leather man (Ron, you could have had kinder words about him, lol.) I was a bit concerned that Ron would never find true love, that is until Mitch stepped in and made his story more complete. His book isn't just a lot of memories of gay life before HIV (which, nonetheless, makes its appearance in this story) it is much deeper than that. And now, speaking of Mitch, I really would like to know what happened to him after this enlightened conversation ...
"I meaningful relationship doesn't happen overnight. It's an emotional investment of both partners and it must go through all its trials and tribulations in order for love to thrive and blossom into the beautiful thing it's meant to be." I can't wait for the sequel!
I came across this book on NetGalley and almost overlooked it due to it being available via Books go Social. To date, I haven't had much luck with books obtained via them. Not just plot, but typos and horrendous ebook formatting, but I digress.
The blurb to this book pulled me in immediately. There are all too few books set in an era I recall with both fondness and trepidation. True to those feeling, the book captured a time when it was extremely difficult to live life 'openly' as a gay person. (Male or female)
My the end of chapter three my heart was in pieces. No one should have to endure what our hero did, but endure he did, because what else could he do? Who would believe him? No one, least of all his parents.
I must admit, there were times I had to wonder how much of this story was fiction and how much was non-fiction. Really can one character (person) have so much shitty luck?
The last few chapters...let's just say I'm still picking up the pieces. Not just for the hero but for every single person whose live Auntie Brie touched.
I have goosebumps just typing this review and that makes this book a winner for me!
Ron Naples' story reveals his experiences growing up as a gay boy in the 70’s in a strict Italian catholic family. It tells in great detail all his forays into uncharted territory, the trials and setbacks as well the joys and close relationships he built. Its set amidst the rich history of the time to a backdrop of Disco music and dance floors and really gives you an idea of what it was like to struggle against the prejudices of the general population and the struggle for fairness and recognition with very little information available. Fascinating and a must read. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own
Overall, I enjoyed reading this but one nagging question kept popping in my head. Is this a supposed memoir or fiction? The likelihood that one person experienced pretty much every aspect of the gay scene in the 70's and 80's so intimately is a little hard to swallow. Not that it isn't possible, just highly unlikely. Told in first person, My Last Dance... gives a pretty full picture of the gay experience during this eventful period of history. Towards the end I felt like Naples may have been checking off a list of gay issues he wanted to include. This disrupted the flow for me.
I liked the premise and framework up to the end. Then, like a frame with three sides, it felt unfinished. Something was missing, failing to wrap it all up for me. I really thought the interesting title could have been better illustrated in the final chapters rewarding the reader with a more satisfying conclusion.
For those that lived through this period, it will surely bring back many images from the past. For those too young to remember, it will give a little insight into the growing pains of gay culture that should not be forgotten.
I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
The blurb of this book said it was a fictionalized story based on experiences of coming out/being gay in the '70s. Yet it reads and feels as a memoir , hence my decision to view as such.
My Last Dance With Auntie Brie is a story about growing up as gay boy in the US , during 70’s , born into a strait-laced Italian catholic family. It recounts his initiation into an exotic and little know gay scene . We feel his struggles and hassles , his upsets and comedowns ; equally we get his the joie de vivre , gratification and happiness periods. We get to meet the friends and relationships he built along the way.
We get a wonderful peek into the craziness , OTT of Disco Era, the infamous NYC's Studio 54 and Ptown's sexual exploits.
This book made me cried and laugh in equal measures and I am glad I read it .
My Last Dance with Auntie Brie is an emotional story , that might be difficult for some as it deals with very real and sensitive issues , yet I encourage you to give it a try , and when /if you do , read it with an open mind and heart.
I just reviewed My Last Dance with Auntie Brie by R. Naples. #MyLastDanceWithAuntieBrie #NetGalley
There are parts of this book that are hard to read, when people are just assholes to others and to others they should love. There are parts of this book that reflect some joy and freedom that make tolerating the other stuff almost ok.
I can't imagine what it must have been like for the author, he paints a good picture, though. Thank goodness for Aunt Brie.
I am glad that, slowly, glacially, we are making progress in outdated and horrifying attitudes and enrich all of us.
Older woman younger man romance was so well written and the plot was interesting to read. I highly recommend reading this great read.
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