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Posted January 24, 2011
Code of Bad Writing
This book is an embarrassment to the gay community. If it's supposed to let us know that gays are already in the military fine. But take note how hot they are and all of the super sex they are getting. the author can't decide if he's writing porn or wants to be taken seriously. And he has a long way to go if he is to be taken seriously. Here's the deaths scene early on in the story. Try not to laugh while you cry:Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
One gay soldier has taken home an undercover investigator. The gay guy leaves the room to feed his dog, who has been home alone all day, When he returns, he discovers that the guy he brought home has been snooping around, so he gets a loaded gun out of a desk drawer. In one section,the book says that the undercover guy passed out. But a few pages later, he instead tries to disarm the soldier, and, in the process, shoots him in the head.
"In the last seconds of his life, Eddie saw a horrified expression overcome the stranger's face as he stepped away from Eddies's dying body in terror. In the background, Eddie heard (his dog) bark, and he smiled because he knew his friends would take care of the little guy."
And they say gay fiction has come a long way.
Posted May 31, 2010
Good read for the last days of DADT
This story is serious, but funny, sad but heartwarming, personal and political. Set in the days just before "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was adopted, it's about gay servicemen and women dealing with the intitutionalized homophobia of the military and our country while trying to serve and protect them both.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
While the book is fiction, and the action at times is just a little past believable, there is a truth to it that goes beyond the story. Merritt introduces us to a group of gay and lesbian soldiers and ex-soldiers who have become a unit of self-protection in the hostile military environment. Older, more experienced members teach the younger ones how to avoid detection, how look out for each other and how to keep their sexual identity from compromising their service.
Almost immediately, we also meet the people out to destroy the lives and careers of these soldiers. The clash of these groups gets pulled into the politics of the time: Clinton's election and promise to end the ban, the Republican opposition, the Base Closure commission and local communities facing the loss of their largest economic engine.
The single weakness of the story is how so many themes of the time are incarnate in characters. The GOP congressman and homophobe with political ambitions, the closeted NIS agent pursing gay soldiers literally with single-minded zeal. The career minded journalist using everyone and everything to get ahead vs. the community minded local activists. These people make the story more exciting and are necessary actors in the drama, but they didn't strike me as entirely believable.
The soldiers seemed much more real. Perhaps because they were sympathetic characters, or maybe because Rich Merritt really knows the subject, these were women and men I could relate to. They work hard at their jobs (or don't!) and try hard to find the middle ground beween hiding and living their lives. They live, grieve, love, harass and protect each other. In short they behave like any loving family under pressure; they pull together on the big issues and bicker endlessly about the trivial ones. The book is set in peace time but I wonder what a similar story set in the 2000s might be like, or if their could be a sequel once DADT is repealed. I think any reader would be interested to know what happens to these people in the twenty years between then and now.
I recommend this book as a source of conversation about the origin of very current events, but also as a great adventure. I think anyone interested in gay/lesbian fiction will enjoy the book.
Reading "Code of Conduct" has changed my perspective. This Memorial Day I'll be thankful for the service of all our soldiers, but especially gays and lesbians who have served and died in defense of our country.
Posted November 19, 2007
Government cover-ups, closeted Bible thumpers, and a gay preacher's ghost!
This was a good book! Compelling story and great characters developed as the story progresses. Cover-ups, Murder, Closeted Bible-Thumpers, and a Gay preacher's Ghost! More truth than fiction if you are gay, evangelical and/or in the military! A good story and very much worth your time. Merritt's 1st work of fiction is every bit as good as his autobiography.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 3, 2008
Merritt Excels Again
Meeting Rich Merritt by way of his first book, Secrets of a Gay Marine Porn Star, a stunning autobiography of his life experiences, I have been looking forward to his first adventure into fiction. Code of Conduct is every bit as well written as his first book with a strong story line and very well-developed characters that drove me to read the entire book in one sitting. Loyalty, love, support, hate, betrayal, and evil all are the building blocks of this excellent story. There is an important message herein that demonstrates the injustice of the political and religious bigots that undermine the very basic freedoms of our nation.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.