I think I might have fallen in love…with two gay men. Unfortunately they are also imaginary…but so amazingly sweet…handsome…kind and loving…did I mention imaginary…and gay? Maybe I should just worship the author instead…but I’m pretty sure that stalking someone even long distance is a crime –yes Sean Kennedy’s novel Tigers and Devils has turned me into a stalker.
Tigers and Devils is the story of a film executive, Simon Murray, who falls in love, albeit reluctantly, with a closeted, god of football, Declan Tyler. What follows is their story–one of painful revelation for Declan, even more painful hiding for Simon whilst Declan tries to find the courage to “come out” and reveal their life together, complete with friends who as secondary characters go (Roger and Fran, Nyssa, Abe and Lisa) are simply the most creative and brilliantly written that I have ever read on the page before!
This novel SANG–it flowed with the ease of a familiar retelling of a story of friends who live next door. The absolute brilliance here is that you believe this could happen in real life–these two men are so very “real” that you swear that you could wander over to Australia in the Docklands and ring them up. And the beauty here? I think they would be just as entertaining, just as lovely, just as vibrant and amazing in real life as Sean Kennedy has written them. What a stunning literary imagination this author has–what a novel!
The story is often breathlessly funny as told first person by Simon. Simon, who loves football and who, after being dragged to a party by friends who secretly fear that he will never find someone to fall in love with, ends up loudly defending footie star Declan Tyler, totally unaware that said footie player is right there in the room listening. But Declan is aces at hiding his sexuality and Simon, who is wonderfully out, falls in love despite his misgivings.
We read as the two men build slowly, humorously and, yes, at times sadly, a loving and gorgeous relationship. So many times I just sighed—this was an incredible story, so masterfully written, so beautifully moving. When the two are “outed” by a jealous media rival, Declan will have to choose between a career he loves and a man who has become his world.
I cannot say enough about this book–it was amazing and I devoured every word of it. This is one of those times when, as a reviewer, I wish the rating scale soared beyond 5—for this one deserves every ounce of praise I can afford it. I highly recommend Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy to you, dear reader. It is a must read!!