Melanie Abrams
Julius Addlesee
Shelley Aikens
A. Aimee
Jeanne Ainslie
Fredrica Alleyn
Rebecca Ambrose
Diane Anderson-Minshall
Laura Antoniou
Janine Ashbless
Lisette Ashton
Gavin Atlas
Danielle Austen
J. P. Beausejour
P.K. Belden
Tina Bell
Jove Belle
Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore
Ronica Black
Candace Blevins
Primula Bond
Lionel Bramble
A. J. Bray
Samantha Brook
Matt Brooks
Zetta Brown
James Buchanan
Louisa Burton
Angela Campion
Angela Caperton
Annabeth Carew
Julia Chambers
Dale Chase
M. Christian
Greta Christina
Valentina Cilescu
Rae Clark
NJ Cole
Christina Crooks
Julius Culdrose
Portia da Costa
Alan Daniels
Angraecus Daniels
Dena De Paulo
Vincent Diamond
Susan DiPlacido
Noelle Douglas-Brown
Hypnotic Dreams
Amanda Earl
Hank Edwards
Jeremy Edwards
Stephen Elliott
Madelynne Ellis
Justine Elyot
Aurelia T. Evans
Lucy Felthouse
Jesse Fox
I. G. Frederick
Simone Freier
Louis Friend
Polly Frost
William Gaius
Bob Genz
Shanna Germain
J. J. Giles
Lesley Gowan
K D Grace
K. D. Grace
Sacchi Green
Ernest Greene
Tamzin Hall
R. E. Hargrave
P. S. Haven
Trebor Healey
Vicki Hendricks
Scott Alexander Hess
Richard Higgins
Julie Hilden
E. M. Hillwood
Amber Hipple
William Holden
Senta Holland
David Holly
Michelle Houston
Debra Hyde
M. E. Hydra
Vina Jackson
Anneke Jacob
Maxim Jakubowski
Kay Jaybee
Ronan Jefferson
Amanda Jilling
SM Johnson
Raven Kaldera
J. P. Kansas
Kevin Killian
D. L. King
Catt Kingsgrave
Kate Kinsey
Geoffrey Knight
Varian Krylov
Vivienne LaFay
Teresa Lamai
Lisa Lane
Randall Lang
James Lear
Amber Lee
Nikko Lee
Tanith Lee
Annabeth Leong
James W. Lewis
Marilyn Jaye Lewis
Ashley Lister
Fiona Locke
Clare London
Scottie Lowe
Simon Lowrie
Catherine Lundoff
Michael T. Luongo
Jay Lygon
Helen E. H. Madden
Nancy Madore
Jodi Malpas
Jeff Mann
Alma Marceau
Sommer Marsden
Gwen Masters
Sean Meriwether
Bridget Midway
I. J. Miller
Madeline Moore
Lucy V. Morgan
Julia Morizawa
David C. Morrow
Walter Mosley
Peggy Munson
Zoe Myonas
Alicia Night Orchid
Craig Odanovich
Cassandra Park
Michael Perkins
Christopher Pierce
Lance Porter
Jack L. Pyke
Devyn Quinn
Cameron Quitain
R. V. Raiment
Shakir Rashaan
Jean Roberta
Paige Roberts
Sam Rosenthal
D. V. Sadero
C Sanchez-Garcia
Lisabet Sarai
R Paul Sardanas
R. Paul Sardanas
Elizabeth Schechter
Erica Scott
Kemble Scott
Mele Shaw
Simon Sheppard
Tom Simple
Talia Skye
Susan St. Aubin
Charlotte Stein
C. Stetson
Chancery Stone
Donna George Storey
Darcy Sweet
Rebecca Symmons
Mitzi Szereto
Cecilia Tan
Lily Temperley
Vinnie Tesla
Claire Thompson
Alexis Trevelyan
Alison Tyler
Gloria Vanderbilt
Vanessa Vaughn
Elissa Wald
Saskia Walker
Kimberly Warner-Cohen
Brian Whitney
Carrie Williams
Peter Wolkoff
T. Martin Woody
Beth Wylde
Daddy X
Lux Zakari
Fiona Zedde
The Silent HustlerThe Silent Hustler
By: Sean Meriwether
Lethe Press
ISBN: 159021062X
October 2009

Reviewed By: Ashley Lister

Call me a Luddite but, when someone gives me a book of literary fiction, the first words that spring to mind are seldom, ‘Thank you.’ 

I don’t mind holding my hand up and admitting I’m not a literary fiction type of person.  I enjoy stories that are exciting, entertaining and accessible.  You don’t often get that with literary fiction.  The words ‘literary fiction’ on a book cover are invariably an albatross tied around the damned thing’s neck, warning off those other poor damned souls who would potentially run the risk of being burdened with the tome.  It’s like giving a DVD the accolade ‘Oscar winning’ which invariably means it’s a sleep-inducing crock of shite without any of the good things a person wants from a film such as near-nudity, car chases, serial killers or big explosions.

So I approached The Silent Hustler with a natural wariness.  The back cover blurb describes the opening story, "Things I can’t Tell My Father" as ‘literary.’  It goes on to describe another story, "Burn the Rich" as ‘revolutionary.’  I described my reticence as characteristic.

But, on eventually delving into the book, I discovered I had no reason to be frightened away by the scary language on the outside.

"Things I Can’t Tell My Father" is a sensitive and erudite exposition of the stumbling relationship between Meriwether’s first person protagonist and an antagonist father.  The language used is direct, realistic and uncompromising – yet the duality of the truth hidden beneath the words is still something of a revelation as Meriwether gives each brief entry his own distinctive interpretation.  Good – yes.  Literary – yes: but not in a bad way.

"Burn the Rich" is a gritty tale of brutal erotic realism, told in fragmentary snatches that mimic the central character’s libido-driven call-and-response arousal.  Admittedly, "Burn the Rich" could be described as revolutionary because of its anarchic content, but please don’t let such epithets dissuade you from making a purchase of this book if you’re worried it’s wholly cerebral.  Above all else "Burn the Rich" like every other story in this collection, is an entertaining, intriguing and well-constructed read.

Sean Meriwether is described as "The Naughty Harry Potter" because of his magical ability to create worlds with words.  As nicknames go I have to admit this one is pretty cool.  People used to call me "The Nasty Harry Potter" but that was only because I spent so much time playing with my wand, and the title didn’t have the same ring of dynamism that Meriwether’s name projects. 

Those who enjoy literature in its traditional style (i.e. boring) probably won’t get much of a thrill from The Silent Hustler.  Admittedly Meriwether does include stories that show his mastery of craft.  "Knives and Roses" presents the story from an eerie second person perspective, making the narrative all the more compelling and convincing.  The stream-of-consciousness interludes that demarcate episodes of "Into the Mouth(Becoming the Fly)" show a keen sense of character and its representation within literary forms.  But the stories in this volume are also exciting, intriguing and enjoyable – far from the literary norm.

If you enjoy gay erotica that’s well written and presents a variety of challenging styles and interpretations, Meriwether’s The Silent Hustler is a title you need, to complete your current collection.