The Charioteer


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Originally published in 1959, "The Charioteer" is a bold, unapologetic portrayal of male homosexuality during World War II that stands with Vidal's "The City and the Pillar" and Isherwood's "Berlin Stories" as a monumental work in gay literature.

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Dec 27, 2015


There's some clever,thoughtful, and good writing in this book. Without those qualities the book would never have made its way or be remembered. But by today's standards, it's excessively detailed. Detailed in ways that do not advance the plot or enrich the characters. If submitted to a publisher today, it probably would not be published, or certainly would not be widely distributed. It was one of the few serious treatments of gay relationships at the time it was written, and deserves credit for that. Today, an editor might want it condensed into a short story, or a novella at most. But if you're willing to read a book that is more prolix than concise, you can find some rewards here.

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