Reviews of Genet’s Bastard and the Rent Boys of Prague

Part travelogue, part sex diary, Genet’s Bastard is the personal blog of a self-described “American writer down and out and lost among the rent boys of Prague”, filled with musings on the author’s attraction to straight men, winning the services of hustlers during friendly “boy raffles” at the local gay bar … and, of course, plenty of explicitly detailed sex. Whether you find these stories and candid photos sexy or vaguely disturbing will depend to some extent on how open-minded you are about the concept of sexual tourism (and about sex work in general); still, as an intimate look into the private life of someone whose expat experience seems a lot more interesting than any we’ve had, it’s worth a look. Maybe even several.

This is real writing! Keep it up!

scriptwriter and creator of Coronation Street

These names may or may not be familiar to your readers: Orton, Rimbaud, Gide, Kramer, White, Mordden, Leavitt, O’Hara, Ginsberg, Cocteau, Burroughs, Whitman. But they are familiar to you. As well they should be. If art was easy, the world would be beautiful. That it’s hard, and painful, and crazy, and inscrutable, explains everything. You only have yourself to answer to, GB. Keep writing.

J
Loyal reader and commenter

Hot, even when I’m not into the sex or the boys, but the way he describes it… well, I believe it will go down as one of the great gay blogs of the decade. In today’s [publishing] climate, so much pap gets passed off as risky writing, but this is the real thing. I’m just not sure who would have the balls to publish it.

Writer; Editor, Index Magazine; Contributer, ARTFORUM

A real curiosity. Consider the premise: a homophobic and homeless American expatriate, [Genet’s Bastard], with an aversion to gainful employment, moves into the main railroad station in Prague and becomes the premier pimp for a band of gypsy rentboys [sic.] and petty thieves who prey on gay men. Yet the author finds time to write an extensive daily blog about the boys he “loves” and exploits and to provide an unending critique of American, Czech, and gay culture. Very strange and distasteful. Don’t miss GB’s loving descriptions of the parasites that infest his clothes and bodies. [sic] You will never have read anything quite like it._

JT
A gay Episcopalian priest who started out as a gadfly but then became a loyal reader and supporter

Poignant, heartwarming, and raw at times, Genet’s Bastard is a rare gem in today’s sea of same-same gay blogs, and one that will have you going back for more.

Editor’s Pick, Queerlisting.com
2007

Fearless and sexy. This is great writing. If he doesn’t get to publish it, it will be a great shame.

Former editor, Chicago Magazine

This website has nothing to do with New York City, but lots to do with trying to survive, and sleep, and fuck, and get drunk. So I love it.

NYC Guys
Blog defunc

Reading Genet’s Bastard’s blog is almost like reading someone’s diary. For something composed more or less extemporaneously, the writing is rather well done. What’s more surprising is that there is a sort of arc to the story that you wouldn’t expect, yet it doesn’t seem at all artificial. It’s just the way life happens, with a beginning, middle, and end.

The author doesn’t take much time to ponder some of the deeper philosophical issues at work here, but that’s not really a problem. Such things are left for the reader to decide, like who is exploiting whom in many of these situations. There is a lot of food for thought here, as long as you’re able to get past whatever preconceptions you may have about rent boys and the people who use them.

The book is very much about the young men, many of whom claim to be straight, who earn a living servicing the mainly western men who come to enjoy the cheap, easy, no-strings-attached sex. GB seems to go for the rough trade types, who are often drug addicts as well as liars and thieves, and even he would seem to admit that he gets too involved with them. Nether the author GB nor most of the boys are very likable, and yet…. And yet there’s something endearing about them all.

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