After the Blue Hour by John Rechy. Published by Grove Atlantic

Written as a sort of fictional autobiography, Rechy, an author, receives an invitation from a man named Paul who loved his previous work. Paul invites Rechy to spend the summer on his private island, along with Paul’s mistress and his 14 year old son. The year is 1960, and much is made of everyone calling each other “man”. The blue hour is the time just after the sun sets, what the Scottish would call the gloaming, the time when everyone is relaxed and talks about books, theater and other, more personal matters. From here, the story devolves into everyone talking about sex, having sex, or fantasizing about it. I was disturbed by the violent sexual encounters with Paul’s mistress and even more appalled that she seemed to like it. Everyone seemed confused about their sexual preferences and therefore, were angry, ugly and violent. At the end of the book, I had the same feeling as Rechy – that I had woken up after a very bad dream

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