Review ‘Address Book’

  • Writer: Neil Bartlett
  • Publishing year: 2021
  • Publisher: Inkandescent Publishing
  • Number of pages (ebook): 154
  • ISBN: 978-1912620135 (ebook)
  • ISBN: 978-1912620128 (paperback)
  • My rating: 3/5
Neil Bartlett

Synopsis (according to publisher’s website):

Address Book is the new work of fiction by the Costa-shortlisted author of Skin Lane. Neil Bartlett’s cycle of stories takes us to seven very different times and situations: from a new millennium civil partnership celebration to erotic obsession in a Victorian tenement, from a council-flat bedroom at the height of the AIDS crisis to a doctor’s living-room in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, they lead us through decades of change to discover hope in the strangest of places. 
Neil says, ‘Every place I’ve ever slept in, I’ve always wondered about what went on at that address before I moved in. To write this book, I went back to some significant places in my own life and let the walls talk to me. The result of that listening is this new cycle of stories.’
Editor Nathan Evans says, ‘I’ve loved Neil’s writing since finding his first book in the university library, so to publish his latest is something of a dream for me. Inkandescent are proud to be working with such an important queer writer with so much to say about where we are and how we got here.’


What happens behind the walls of houses? What about those people living on those addresses you might have forgotten? Time and tide will tell us those stories, as does Neil Bartlett in this collection of short stories.

Crossing time certain addresses and different inhabitants have meaning and have so much to tell us. From Victorian times to present day, from heartbreak till death, from friendships to love… we are thrown into a whirlpool of emotions in this collection.

Where a young man meets an elder pianist and experiences his first sexual encounter; when a homeless drug addict finally finds a place to live, a place that once was the home for a teacher during Victorian times; when a heartbroken man, after the death of his partner, meets someone else in the parking lot of the supermarket. But is he ready for this encounter?

All different tiny stories but somehow in one way or another linked to each other, making a loop in the collection!

At times I felt a little bit bored, which made me loose the thread in the story, but all in all a very lovely collection of queer literature.


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