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First and Fiftieth and other stories
extracts
Reviews



Reviews have been sparse but complimentary. They are given in full here.



Gay Scotland
November 2002


This is an engaging collection of short stories by the (Scottish) author of Weekend and The Butterfly's Wing amongst other pieces. See www.martinforeman.com


The stories are written in the first person. There's a young man who thinks he's running away from Leith and homophobia at work but realises he is running towards a new life with his lover. There's a self-pitying female child abuser and a foolish "victim" of homophobia who is nothing of the sort. A regular in a run down gay bar in Hollywood reveals the strained but nonetheless real "community" of drinkers.


As with all collections, a few stories will not suit every reader. I was uncomfortable with the explicit sex in Foucault's Nightmare (bisexual sex, as it happens) but got the point in the end. I'm worried about the inclusion of the rape story Basement. But these
First and Fiftieth by Martin Foreman

Paradise Press, UK
First and Fiftieth: post to
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are quibbles - more than compensated for by the moving or funny stories told in many voices and with style.


R Farr      original


Gay Times (UK)
April 2003


The youthful yet already impressive Paradise Press goes from strength to strength with their publication of Martin Foreman's collection of first person narratives from characters hailing from all corners of the globe. These short stories are spoken by a wide variety of people, of all ages, sex and sexual orientations and, while individually not all of the stories are equally successful, each contains a strong, distinctive and powerful voice, leading the collection as a whole to be never anything less than diverting.


Joe Storey Scott      original


The originals of the following have been lost:


Peter Mitchell, February 2004
author of The Peculiar History of Oliver Trent



"It is hard to comment on such a wide variety of stories with little in common apart from the exceptional craftmanship and the essential sorrow of the human condition. One or two I did not like (eg [...] Basement) and I shall need to reread Cold Silence to understand it. But all the rest touched the soul, with for me the most poignant being Judy. I am not really a fan of short stories since reading Saki and O'Henry aged twelve, which bewitched me. "She was a good cook as cooks go, and as cooks go, she went". Forty odd years later I can remember few details, but I recall that they met the same human condition, but with a lighter touch. Nevertheless many of Martin Foreman's stories can stand proudly beside these two giants of the end of the 19th century."


David Watmough, July 2003
author of The Moor is Dark beneath the Moon and other novels



"You have at least one reader who feels substantially richer from the experience. You have a truly exciting ability to enter your characters. There is an old Indian saying in these parts: 'To walk in another's moccasins' and this you do superlatively. Thank you for sharing your indubitable talents with me."


Tregolwyn Book Reviews


"There are several [stories] which have the kind of well-turned conclusion that signals a skilled story-writer: Basement, for one."


"I particularly liked Cold Silence, corny as it was."


"I became a little anxious when I opened the volume at random and read Homophobia, Darling. It wasn't so much the subject matter that worried me as the possibility that these short stories might all have been written for the purpose of deriding heterosexual values, or worse still, as a satire on gay pride. Relieved to find that I'd been quite wrong on that score, I explored the remainder of the stories with great interest."




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