The Sand Bar – Owen Keehnen (Lethe Press)

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Buy it direct from Lethe Press.

I always feel as if I’m confessing a sin when I begin one of my reviews and here I go again in confessing that I didn’t know much about Owen Keehnen’s other
work before reading “The Sand Bar.” Sure, I knew his name as a writer and
historian and I remember reading an article some time ago about his induction into
the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame. I also would like to thank him for
sending me, “The Sand Bar”. If he hadn’t I would be missing out on one hell of
a writer.

The Sand Bar centers around a small gay bar set in a lower
working class Southern city known as Bayetteville. It’s not the bar that is the
star of this novel though Keehnen does a wonderful job of given the bar a life
and feel of its own, but the star or stars of this novel is the odd mix of characters
that patronize, The Sand Bar.

Keehnen has knitted together an amazing ensemble of richly
drawn characters that are so familiar and yet so unexpected you find yourself
completely at their mercy. You will love some of them, you will laugh with
other, and at times you may hate a few of them, but you will not be able to help
yourself in liking each of them.

Keehnen’s writing is tight, lyrical, and brilliant. His
attention to detail, even the smallest fragment is remarkable as each little
word, or description becomes an integral piece of the story.

If you want a solid, well-written, character driven novel
than “The Sand Bar” is a must for you late summer or early fall reading list.
Now, you’ll have to excuse me as I need to order his other books and get them
added to my reading pile.

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©, 2012,
William Holden

 

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