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Book Reviews

Hogtown Bonbons

by Greg Kramer

Writer Greg Kramer has been entertaining readers of Toronto’s bi-weekly lesbian and gay newspaper, Xtra! since the spring of 1998 with a series of loosely linked short stories that have now been brought together in Hogtown Bonbons.

Kramer, the author of The Pursemonger of Fugu and Couchwarmer, takes readers on a rollercoaster ride through Toronto’s gay village – from a portapotty murder on Pride Day to a lesbian raid of a gay bathhouse – with a madcap cast of characters. Fans of Kramer’s previous fictions will find themselves reacquainted with some of the denizens of Kramer’s fictional Toronto, like crimesolver Adelaide Simcoe and her sidekick Phoebe Spadina, dominatrix Cherry Beach, effervescent amphetamine-driven Liberty Hanna, and stud-about-town Alexander Church. You don’t have to have read Kramer’s earlier fictional forays to enjoy the six stories in Hogtown Bonbons but you may want to by the time you finish reading.

Kramer, who recently moved to Montreal, wryly uses humour to look seriously at what it means to be gay and lesbian in the 1990s, and the portrait he creates is full of insight and affection. As with Peter McGehee’s Boys Like Us trilogy, Canadian gays and lesbians will see themselves reflected in Kramer’s richly imagined characters.