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Labour of Love

Labour of Love

3.5 2
by Doug Wilson, Peter McGehee (Other)

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St. Martin's Press
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5.49(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.57(d)

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Labour of Love 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
carlosmock More than 1 year ago
After Peter McGehee died from complications of HIV/AIDS, he had written and published the first two books of a trilogy: Boys Like Us, and Sweetheart. Doug Wilson, Peter's lover, discovers an outline for the third book of the trilogy and takes it upon himself to finish the work started by his lover of 12 years. In Labor of Love, the third installment, the story is told from David's point of view as he describes the demise of Zero, his friend of 12 years from brain Toxoplasmosis infection. "You are so much of my history. Rooted in all my memories, good and bad. And you've loved me through it all. I know that and I couldn't bear to lose it." Zero tells David as he moves back with him to take care of each others' disease." Later David adds: "Except for those few months away with Clay, and his more recent stay upstairs, he (Zero) and I have lived together for more than twelve years...We have grown together." The narrative that Mr. Wilson provides is much more angry--the funny scenes are bitter and full of rage--different than in the first two books. We see Zero slowly succumb to AIDS and David constantly fighting with Eddie, Zero's mother, on everything from Zero's will to his funeral. We get a realistic description of Zero's disease: "When it's very bad I just don't feel human." We also get a realistic description of the epidemic: "I'm one of the first at the Memorial. As always there are new names. Surprises. People you thought, or hoped were just out of town. The acceleration of names, of numbers is dizzying. Where will mine be. In this year's tally? Or next? How many of my friends will be here before and after me? Ho0w much more of my history, our history, will be torn away, replaced by a memorial plaque and some ephemeral memories?" Zero dies and is cremated. David is very sick, but has to deal with Eddie and Doll, Zero's mother and sister who request his ashes for a burial. Finally David and his lesbian friend, Frenchie, decide to send varmints' ashes. But the Canadian postal system goes on strike, so David and Frenchie decide to drive then down to Little Rock from Toronto. After delivering the false ashes, the two embark on a national tour to spread Zero's ashes, first in San Francisco, etc. The book end with what can be summarized as the message of the trilogy: "Stay angry, keep laughing, and never stop loving." This is a much somber and depressing book, and in a way, not as well written. I would have completely dropped the last section: The long way home. I thought it did not add anything to what had already been said. Again, this trilogy is an important part of GLBT history and should be read by all members of our community so that we do not forget those who died in the struggle.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found the review by carlosmock to be helpful. However, I disagree with his criticism of this novel. I think it's clearly a labor of love by Doug Wilson and consider it to be overall well written. It's very readable and tells a very poignant tale of one man striving to tell the story of his boyfriend's last days while he himself is in the last stages of HIV. He is battling against time. And it is indeed a very important reminder to lgbt people and to everyone, really, of those dark days when HIV diagnosis was a virtual death sentence. How the author manages to inject humor, albeit sometimes angry humor, is truly remarkable.