I have a confession. I don’t read a lot of books. Blogs, yes…books, no. So when Eric Ware contacted me to introduce me to his latest novel “The Down Low Diaries” he already had two strikes against him. The first strike as I just mentioned and the second being my personal disdain for anything involving the down low. If I had come across this book in my local bookstore I would have most likely never opened it and it would have been my lost. This book has to be the most entertaining gay fiction I’ve come across in a long time.
The “hero” of the book is a character with no name but his sexual relationships with both men and women and the instant sexual gratification he attains is only temporary, but the pain of living life on the down low seems to linger long after he climaxes.
This book is his diary and inside the reader is given the opportunity to experience every secret glance and sexual encounter of our hero and the men involved in this subculture.
Ware does a magnificent job at breathing life into every character in his book. Every moment between the characters are written so descriptively that it’s almost impossible not to relate to the story on some level. You may not agree with their choices but you feel for them once the inevitable occurs; they’re forced to deal with the truth and the consequences of their actions.
There is no shortage of drama, suspense, and sex in this novel (and the sex is hot!) From the first page Ware’s ability for sharp and exciting storytelling captures the reader and doesn’t let go until the very end and I knew if he could grab my attention from the start I would complete the book .
The question of whether it’s better to come out openly as a gay man and face possible rejection or remain living on the down low is a question the main character wrestles with throughout the book. Men on the DL are often demonized but we rarely take the time to find out the life events that have turned them away from leading authentic lives and further into the closet.
This book is less about the hype of the down low as we know it and more about one man’s lifelong journey of acceptance after all of the pain he’s experienced and caused others.
In less than 300 pages and in bold print, The Down Low Diaries by Eric Ware is an easy read. It’s honest and in your face. It’s one of those books that you’ll want to share with all of your friends when you’re done reading. I’m almost certain that I’ll be reading it again and not just because the author is from my hometown.
The Down Low Diaries is available at Border’s Books and Amazon.com . You can read a sample by clicking here .