INTO? by North Mor­gan

DNA Magazine - - BOOK REVIEWS - BY GRAEME AITKEN

Into? opens with wry ob­ser­va­tions on con­tem­po­rary gay life in the In­sta­gram.

“We are gays liv­ing in big metropoli­tan ar­eas heav­ily in­volved in the scene. We all know each other. We all have big mus­cles and violent abs and hand­some faces and lots of dis­pos­able in­come and in­nu­mer­able sex­ual part­ners, each one hot­ter than the last. We adopt vari­a­tions het­eronor­ma­tive looks (some of us are bros, some of us are jocks, some of us are sim­ply worked-out-guys-next-door), which we doc­u­ment in­ces­santly on Face­book, In­sta­gram, and all your other sur­round­ing news feeds and time­lines.”

Main char­ac­ter Kon­rad is dev­as­tated when Brett, his boyfriend of four years, dumps him for Frank (who also has a boyfriend) and who Kon­rad once had a hook-up with!

In a med­i­cated haze, Kon­rad aban­dons his life in Lon­don and moves to LA where he works loosely for his fa­ther’s wealth man­age­ment com­pany but, in re­al­ity, spends most of his time pop­ping pills, go­ing to the gym and find­ing new guys to date or hook-up with via Face­book, In­sta­gram, Grindr or Snapchat.

Kon­rad ob­sesses over the hot straight guys at his new gym. He works out their train­ing sched­ules so he can turn up at the same time. These “bros” piss at the uri­nal while eat­ing sun­flower seeds and or­der pizza while do­ing ab crunches, which makes Kon­rad fall even more deeply in lust with them.

He does his best to adopt the same bro swag­ger “go­ing to the gym every day in a back­ward base­ball cap sup­port­ing a sports team that I’ve never seen play”.

North Mor­gan has a sharp satir­i­cal eye and knows the world he doc­u­ments in­ti­mately. The sex lives and drug use de­scribed some­times beg­gars be­lief but makes for com­pelling read­ing. The style is strongly rem­i­nis­cent of Bret Eas­ton Ellis, but the ad­vent of so­cial me­dia brings a whole new di­men­sion to the nar­cis­sism of the char­ac­ters.

Af­ter 200, pages it doesn’t re­ally build to any dis­tin­guish­able cli­max – al­though there are cer­tainly a great abun­dance of sex­ual cli­maxes! A witty and thor­oughly com­pelling ex­plo­ration of the “musc masc” gen­er­a­tion of gay men.

Au­thor, North Mor­gan.

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