Secrets of the Other Side

Secrets of the Other Side

by Eric Gober
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Secrets of the Other Side by Eric Gober

Neil Ostwinkle is growing up in a Las Vegas trailer court where he realizes early on that he'd rather marry the Professor, not Mary Ann or Ginger. He prefers Aunt Louise's colorful makeup kits to drab green army men, and he swaps clothes with his best bud Rebecca Mooney because her silky dresses feel like magic on his skin. But in school he learns that being different has frightening consequences and keeps his desires secret.

Neil can't understand why his mom, Ellen, shackles him with one bad stepfather after another. She marries and divorces a mooch, a two-timer, and a pyromaniac. When he hits puberty, he learns you can't always keep your heart from going wild. Or stop your heart from breaking. His first relationships are traumatic, but when Neil meets Clark Martin at a Halloween party, he grabs hold of him tight. Finally, he's convinced love is here to stay, only to discover that AIDS may steal Clark away from him. With help from friends and from Aunt Louise, Neil fights a bitter battle on Clark's behalf. Neil summons help from unusual friends like Jacaranda "Jackie" Stump, a king-sized drag queen with dreams of being a Hollywood wardrobe artist who becomes a friend for life.

Will Neil find and keep love? He comes of age in the Eighties and Nineties, a tumultuous time for a young gay man. Will he be able to make a life of his own when he's battling societal prejudice, family strife, loss, and marriage inequality?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781619291003
Publisher: Regal Crest Enterprises
Publication date: 02/06/2013
Pages: 252
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.57(d)

About the Author

Las Vegas has forever stamped Eric. As a child, the glittering city made him believe the world was a fabulous place. After all, a wizard's castle, a Roman palace, an Egyptian pyramid, and a circus big top sprouted in the desert beyond his back yard. In Secrets of the Other Side, Eric immerses Neil Ostwinkle and his family and friends in that shimmering wacky world. Eric has loved writing ever since he penned his first short stories in high school. He earned an MFA in creative writing from Wichita State University, and his fiction has appeared in a number of literary journals. Today, Eric makes his home in Los Angeles, where he has worked in marketing for the entertainment industry and has written scripts for television and feature films. He is an active member of the Los Angeles Frontrunners and enjoys running half marathons with friends. Eric is a strong advocate for nationwide marriage equality. He is currently at work on a new novel set amidst California's marriage equality battles.

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Secrets of the Other Side 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Eric Gober has written a remarkably charming, witty, poignant coming of age novel that pints a picture of the human story behind gay rights. But Neil's story isn't only his; it's the story of those who've chosen love regardless of the odds for or against and that means all the love optimists out there can relate. For all these characters, love -- in drag, Pabst Blue Ribbon, sleepless nights, or an AIDS quilt -- appears and shows it IS worth the gamble. The stories in Secrets of the Other Side are true because these characters are like the ones you find in your own photo albums.
Reader_Views More than 1 year ago
In my top 3 books! Reviewed by Jennifer Hass for Reader Views (5/13) When I first started reading “Secrets of the Other Side” by Eric Gober, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I have never read a Gay/Lesbian novel but the title and synopsis intrigued me enough to pick it up. As I began to read, I knew at about page three this book was going to be good. In fact, was surprised at just how good this book turned out to be. In “Secrets of the Other Side,” Neil Ostwinkle is the main character which starts out with him as a young boy. He lives with his mother in Las Vegas, residing in a trailer park. His mom marries and divorces several times in Neil’s life. Because his mom lives in Vegas and works a casino, it seems to be very convenient to just run off to a chapel and exchange vows. Neil is starting to grow into himself and finds that he is more interested in the things ‘girls’ are supposed to like rather than what ‘boys’ are supposed to like, for instance makeup and dresses. In his young mind, he would rather marry the Professor from “Gilligan’s Island” and seemed to prefer guys over girls. Eric’s style of writing is exceptional. I was drawn in and became Neil, feeling his feelings and living his life with him right from the words on the pages. I felt consumed with this character and I did not want to stop reading. My emotions ran crazy with this child and I grew up with him as he became an adult. I completely fell in love with Neil, so much as to the point it was like I knew him. The story is written so well that you can feel the immaturity when Neil is 6 to 7-years-old. Questioning if his mother was going to think he was a “sicko” because he liked boys, I could feel his fear and embarrassment and that he didn’t know what to do. With the help of his Aunt and Grandmother, he built the kind of strength that you would hope every child has in real life, even if it didn’t come directly from the parent. As Neil got older, he had to face bullies at school and endured extremely sad moments in his life. He suffered loss, discovered AIDS and its effects, and made lasting connections with his mother, grandmother and several other people. Despite all his ups and downs, Neil is the kind of character you want in your life. I didn’t want the book to end. Overall, “Secrets of the Other Side” by Eric Gober, has to be one of the best books I have ever read. I would say it is in my top three. The editing was wonderful, writing is exquisite and captivating. Even the romance was eloquently described. This story may have a truth that many carry with them every day -- worrying about the world and what they will think about them being gay. Even though this is a work of fiction, I can imagine that it has some truth behind it. “Secrets of the Other Side” is truly amazing!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Funny, poignant, and sometimes heartbreaking--the story drew me in and kept me reading. I couldn't help but cheer for Neil and his family during the many ordeals they faced struggling to make a better life for themselves in a Las Vegas trailer park.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just finished reading "Secrets of the Other Side," while I was on a business trip to New Orleans. And I have to say two things - first, the book kept me in my room and away from the siren song of Bourbon Street; and two - it's been awhile since a novel such as this as really captured my attention (span) for such a long time that I would read for 3+ hours in one sitting. Although the book is novel, I found myself feeling like I was reading a David Sedaris autobiographical book - or because of the oddly-angled humor - John Kennedy' Toole's book "Confederacy of the Dunces." I was born in the early 60's, so the settings, the fads and fashions all resonated with me (albeit, I'm just a tad older than the main character) - but what really struck me was how the story really pulls you in, both with the coming of age - and for the humor (hello David Sedaris!). The book reads like his "Naked" memoir. I really got into the character and his relationships with family (mother and aunt) - and his one-to-one relationships with a variety of guys. The only thing frustrating to me was that I wish more copy would have been devoted to a few of the boy*friends.. or boyfriends... as just when you were getting into Neil and the other guy (I won't spoil it) - that piece of the story ended too soon. This is how it also reads like a memoir - almost a true telling a life. And this is all good - because when I am really enjoying a book, I like it to go on and on! (Perhaps the editor was a little too heavy-handed in tightening up the storyline?). Anyway - a great read, very good coming of age for anyone born in the 60s and 70s! A few surprising twists that I didn't see coming btw. And that I love - when a book is unpredictable. Two thumbs up and four stars.