Berman, Steve. “Vintage: A Ghost Story”, Lethe Press, 2007.
A Gay Ghost Story
Steve Berman has written a very smart and a very stylish book, “Vintage: A Ghost Story”. It is a fantastic look at gay love with a gothic twist. One night while walking down a deserted highway in September, our young gay goth hero comes upon a beautiful stranger who appears to have stepped out of imagination. However, the beautiful boy is not as beautiful as first perceived. It seems that he is a ghost, the ghost of an athlete who met his death years before. More important is that this ghost has a secret ad an obsession. Looking at the dark side of life in the city, the book shows that the dead ever really rest and they never find the peace that supposedly comes with death.
“Vintage” is full of power and emotion dealing with difference in the modern world. It is not ghosts that haunt us but the decisions we make are the issues we must deal with on a daily basis. “Vintage” is not just a ghost story but it is an honest story of coming-of-age. We get to look at youthful dreams as well as childish fears. In dealing with both this world and the one beyond, Berman writes beautifully and says things that we have never read before. His detail is lush and vivid as he writes about youthful lust and desire and happiness and the loss of joy. Ghost stories ever seem to go out of style and a really good one stays with us for a very long time.
Berman skillfully combines issues of importance to our lives today—alienation and love. As the ghost relives his past ad finally faces exorcism, we are brought face to face with the problems of growing up gay. The result is a beautiful love story—something that has been rare in gay literature of late.