Book review: The Remnants, by Robert Hill

Hill, Robert. The Remnants: a novel of endings.  Portland, Oregon: Forest Avenue Press, c2016. 273 p. Paperback. $15.95. ISBN 978-1-51-942436-15-7.

This is a very difficult novel. There is nothing gay about it, although a few teen age boys may have played together next to a pond in town and some older men perhaps wanted to, but nothing ever happened.  This is the sad story of a dying town in the middle of nowhere.  Its location is never identified.  The settlers arrived long ago and they intermarried without pause, producing some rather unfortunate results.  The old timers have reached 99 and 100 years old, and there are no new settlers.  No one ever leaves, except for a main character, now 99.  He climbs over the mountains and finds a library filled with the wonders of civilization.  He returns after many days, but nothing else changes. The novel is all about their dying life.

The novel has received rave reviews and it is well written in the third person with dialogue among the characters, who are well drawn and described, but not particularly interesting.  But good as it is, it does not belong in collections of gay literature, nor will it interest fans of gay novels.  It is simply has no gay content or interest.

James Doig Anderson

Professor Emeritus of Library and Information Science, Rutgers University

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