Baker, John Roman. “Time of Obsessions”, (The Nick & Greg Books Book 2) , Wilkinson House 2017.
“The Times They Were a-Changing”
Some of you might remember Nick and Greg from the novel of the same name that I reviewed some time ago. We went back in time to the late 1950s when Nick and Greg meet one day after school in Brighton, England, a place where there was a thriving gay community even though homosexuality was illegal then. Brighton was their home turf as well as their playground. As Nick and Greg discover Brighton, they also discover each other and the passion each holds for the other.
In the first book of the series simply titled “Nick and Greg”, we meet the boys who were born at a time when gay liberation had not yet been thought of. From that first meeting in 1957 when they were just fourteen-years-old, we stay with them through the next twenty years when things change.
As young teens, the boys had no sexual inhibitions and they were curious about life and anxious to taste it all. “Time of Obsessions” moves us forward in time to 1961 when Greg is 18, leaves home and begins life on his own. As he experiments with men and with sexuality, Nick is still the object of Greg’s love. Greg goes to London and becomes caught up in the gay scene at Chelsea which was just beginning to take hold. He finds refuge in the gay bar scene there yet something is missing and he continues to hope to find it.
The early sixties were a time of change yet but homosexuality was still against the law. Nonetheless Chelsea was coming into its own as the gayborhood for London. Regardless of the legal status, we see a changing attitude among the people and personal freedom is coming in to it own.
What I really like best about this series of three books now is the development of characters. Baker developed the “boys” in book one, in book two we meet them as developed men and we get a look at what goes on in the minds of gay men when they are out cruising. Baker has a way with words and descriptions that you actually feel like a character becomes a friend. The great personalities of Greg and Nick as teens morph into their great personalities as men. When I really enjoy a book I try very hared to convey that two readers without spoiling the plot for anyone and that is not easy. Take my word for it with “Time of Obsessions”. I promise you that you will love Baker’s other writings both in this series and other books.