Archive for the ‘READING’ Tag


Peter and I became friends years ago when we met as bloggers. I found him to be a funny, caring and passionate man who tells things as they are and how he sees them. He has written many books, most thrillers, plus his autobiography which talks of a world many readers will discover for the first time and is a live thriller in its own right.
Born in New Zealand, Rigby Taylor grew up in Europe where he was an actor and creative dancer before becoming a lecturer in Renaissance Art. His two gay themed novels, ‘The Price of Freedom’ in which he explores gay relationships of youth, middle age and the elderly while coping with undercurrents of homophobia, and ‘Dome of Death’ a thriller , are both set on Queensland’s sub-tropical Sunshine Coast.
His autobiography, ‘Dancing Bare’, is a humorous look at his first twenty-five years as a young exhibitionist in Europe and the UK in the ‘swinging sixties’.

Dancing Bare is the sometimes risqué tale of an innocent young man who swaps the suffocating confines of middle-class New Zealand for love and liberation in 1960’s London and Europe. Reveling in the freedom conferred by anonymity, he becomes an actor, a stripper, a rent boy, a lover, a teacher, and a dedicated traveler through Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, where travelers are uncommon and countries still retain many of the differences that makes traveling so interesting. He encounters a wide variety of people, life styles, and customs, eventually settling in Paris where the state does not consider his sexuality to be a criminal offense. A moving and amusing story of hope and love, sex, and sexuality, theatrical showmanship and artless innocence, laced with a little philosophy. Download this FREE e-Book today!
All three books are available from Lulu publishers.

I think the other books might have more appeal  readers than Dancing Bare. I get quite a few emails from contented readers, especially thanking me for “Rough Justice/Price of Freedom” [same book, different title]”. ‘Sebastian” and “Dome of Death” are also very popular… being fictional and sort of thrillers with gay heroes. The memoir is a bit too real for many people…. being “a snapshot of a wonderful time of freedom so long ago it seems like a different planet”…. this last comment was from a pleasant Indian fellow.



                          Jarek by Rigby Taylor
               Price: Free! Approx. 97,080 words. Language: English.    Published on July 29, 2012. Category: Fiction.

                In this sequel to ‘Sebastian’ that begins in an isolated tropical Australian town, the refusal of a student to be victimized by a female teacher leads to his being drafted to assist at a rainforest camp where he teams up with the activities teacher, Jarek, who dumps his girlfriend and becomes the unwitting target of a small group of women dedicated to the elimination of misogynistic males.
Time to Think by Rigby Taylor
Price: Free! Approx. 30,390 words. Language: English. Published on November 8, 2011. Category: Fiction.

Time To Think is an amusing, thoughtful and sexy collection of eight short tales about the human condition and how some gays cope with such things as visiting evangelists, unwelcome visitors, too much praise, unwanted sexual attentions from women, living in a nursing home, unpleasant relations, genetic modification and newly awakened sexual urges.
Sebastian by Rigby Taylor
Price: Free! Approx. 62,120 words. Language: English. Published on February 18, 2011. Category: Fiction.

Sebastian is an enigma. Everyone likes him, but no one knows anything about him. He wears clothes only under protest, but no one seems to mind. To say his home life is unusual would be like saying the Amazon is a stream. Bizarre doesn’t even begin to describe his upbringing. He doesn’t know who his father was, he’s used as a therapist for broken youths, and yet he’s ‘normal’.
Dancing Bare by Rigby Taylor
Price: Free! Approx. 118,650 words. Language: English. Published on February 5, 2011. Category: Nonfiction.

0.75 star (3.67 from 3 reviews)
Dancing Bare is an amusing tale about Rigby, an impossibly innocent young man who swaps the suffocating confines of middle class New Zealand for love and liberation in nineteen-sixties London and Europe. Revelling in the freedom conferred by anonymity, he becomes an actor, stripper, rent boy, lover, teacher and dedicated traveller through Europe and North Africa.
Dome of Death by Rigby Taylor
Price: Free! Approx. 103,100 words. Language: English. Published on February 3, 2011. Category: Fiction.

(4.00 from 2 reviews)
Dome of Death is a thriller; shocking, funny, romantic and thought provoking. When the director of an Art Gallery in Queensland falls to his death from the central dome, his lover, Peter, unwillingly takes over the job. Murder, torture, cyclones, tidal surges, snuff porn shows – are but a few of the complications to be navigated in his search for justice, happiness and love.
The Price of Freedom by Rigby Taylor
Price: Free! Approx. 103,260 words. Language: English. Published on February 1, 2011. Category: Fiction.

(4.00 from 1 review)
Two young men in subtropical Queensland fight for their lives when threatened by homophobic students.



Posted August 27, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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WHAT DO YOU READ?   Leave a comment



Looking at a stack of papers and magazines (just from this week) I have come to the conclusion that just as I am ‘downsizing’ my life, and ‘things’, I will also have to cut back in that area. I just finished reading the Sunday Sun-Sentinel and am going to ‘attack’ the magazines including 2 issues of th New Yorker. As it comes time to resubscribe I plan not to on many of those listed below.

I read:
Weekly magazines; Time, EW, New York, Basics, Hot Spots, Real Simple, TV Guide, The New Yorker, Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reprter, The New York Times Book Magazine
Weekly newspapers: New Times, City Links, Indepedant, TWN, The Observer, Variety, South Florida Gay News
Daily papers: Sun-Sentinel (and on the Internet), The New York Times, Daily News, NY Post
Monthly magazines;  Taste Of The South, Now Playing, Theatre Arts, Wired, Mother Jones, GQ, Health News, ConsumerReports On Health

In addition I use to  read a minimum of 4-5 books a month but have cut back on that, not to forget writng my next book and rereading and editing it.

I’m going to assume reading blogs fit in there somewhere not to mention the 8 web sites (Talkinbroadway, Conures & more,  Broadwayshowbiz, GayWriters, gaythinkers2,  and Bravenet plus) to read (and respond to) posts everyday, though I am definitely cutting way back on those.

And what do YOU read?



I read the newspapers avidly. It is my one form of continuous fiction.
Their constant yelping about a free press means, with a few honorable exceptions, freedom to peddle scandal, crime, sex, sensation alism, hate, innuendo and the political and financial uses of propaganda. A newspaper is a business out to make money through advertising revenue. That is predicated on the circulation and you know what circulation depends on.



Reading someone else’s newspaper is like sleeping with someone else’s wife. Nothing seems to be precisely in the right place, and when you find what you are looking for, it is not clear then how to respond to it.

People hear about stuff from their friends or a magazine or a newspaper.
David Byrne

“When I get a little money, I buy books. If any is left, I buy food and clothes.” — Erasmus

“We don’t need a list of rights and wrongs, tables of dos and don’ts: we need books, time, and silence. Thou shalt not is soon forgotten, but Once upon a time lasts forever.” — Philip Pullman

“If one reads enough books one has a fighting chance. Or better, one’s chances of survival increase with each book one reads.” — Sherman Alexie

“Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helpl essly, into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul.” — Joyce Carol Oates

“You should never read just for “enjoyment.” Read to make yourself smarter! Less judgmental. More apt to understand your friends’ insane behavior, or better yet, your own. Pick “hard books.” Ones you have to concentrate on while reading. And for god’s sake, don’t let me ever hear you say, “I can’t read fiction. I only have time for the truth.” Fiction is the truth, fool! Ever hear of “literature”? That means fiction, too, stupid.” — John Waters

“There is no friend as loyal as a book.” – Ernest Hemingway

“What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.” — Anne Lamott

“I am simply a ‘book drunkard.’ Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.” — L.M. Montgomery

“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.” — Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler)

“I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound or stab us. If the book we’re reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow to the head, what are we reading for? So that it will make us happy, as you write? Good Lord, we would be happy precisely if we had no books, and the kind of books that make us happy are the kind we could write ourselves if we had to. But we need books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. That is my belief.” – Franz Kafka

Posted August 11, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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“DOUBLE LIFE”–A BOOK REVIEW   Leave a comment

“Double Life”, subtitled ‘A Love Story From Broadway to Hollywood’, is written by Alan Shayne and Norman Sunshine who will be celebrating their 54th anniversary this July 2012. They take turns telling their story from the time they met in 1958.

Many years ago I read a study about gay couples and one of the conclusions was that when there was a 5 year or more difference in ages the more likely the couple will succeed in their relationship. Joe was 20 years older than Albyn and they were together for 55 years before Joe died. There was 15 years difference between Robert and James and they were together for 50 years. Whether the conclusion is correct or not I don’t know but I do know that most relationships lasting over 50 years that I know of have been between gay men. The only long term heterosexual relationship I know of is my brother and sister-in-law who have been together close to 60 years.

Alan was an actor in New York that, while I was reading as he talked about his credits, I realized I had seen him in 2 plays but I have no memory of him. At that time Norman was making a living as a free lance illustrator. Alan is older than Norman and even though I googled them both I could not find out how much younger Norman is nor, considering they are ‘famous’, there is very little about them on the Internet aside from this book.

After he gave up acting and became a casting agent Alan then was the President of Warner Brothers Television for 10 years and after produced a few TV movies. Norman got involved with advertising and coined the phrases and campaigns for “What Becomes A Legend Most?” and “Danskins Are Not Just For Dancing.” He would go on to become  a painter and sculptor whose work is in museums and private collections.

I was 26 when they met and I found many things about their life, such as not coming out as a couple in Hollywood until the 90s, sort of strange since I was already out all over the place. As far as I can tell they slept in separate beds in separate rooms even at what I would call momentous times as the first time they slept in a country house they had bought together or the time Alan went to London where Norman was and went back to his hotel room to sleep.  Is that where I made my mistake–sleeping with my lovers?!?!

Even though he tries to play it different I found Alan to be a little over bearing, more of a name dropper than Norman and the main money maker for most of their time together though later in life Norman seem to come into his own as an artist. Alan also writes about twice as many chapters.

During most of their relationship they seem to have lived well with homes in Beverly Hills, Malibu Beach, Bucks County, Washington, Connecticut, apartments in New York, separate studios for Norman for him to work in, to name a few places. They got married in 2004 in Massachusetts and seem to be living happily ever after.

It was interesting traveling along with both men as they got deeper into their relationship and Norman, more than Alan, doesn’t hesitate to talk about some of the problems they had along the way. Reading a letter Alan wrote to the New York Times, that was never published, and the last two to three chapters of the book when they talk about their love for each other is very moving. They talk about sex, fidelity, promiscuity and how they handled/felt about the subjects.

There is a quote, that I can’t find, by a guy who basically feels like I do that a long term relationship means compromise, fidelity and selflessness, all the things not in my make up.

I am glad gay men are getting away from coming out and/or AIDS stories, though both are still needed, and getting into successful long term relationship books as young people today have to know they not only exist but have existed for many decades. Now it is time to hear from the women!

Posted May 1, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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