You Like the Book – but Could You Live with Him?

I’m a hermit. Most people know this.  I’ve done the whole live with and or marriage thing and I have to be honest, I’m much happier on my own.  I’m too set in my ways, too messy, too covered in pet hair to ever share my home with anyone again. Not unless they have fur, big ears and drool a lot.  Oh, no – that was my husband, wasn’t it?

I was musing over this yesterday while I was counting my blessings, and realised how happy I am about this, and then I went on to wonder what it really would be like to share a house with one of the heroes from some of my favourite gay books?  I used to play this game with heroes before I discovered gay fiction and found that, as much as I loved Heathcliff on paper, there’s no way I could have lived with him, spoiled angstmuffin (thanks Gehayi for the new word) that he is!!

Hmmmmmmmm…. (insert wavy line cinematographic effect here…..)

Laurie from The Charioteer.

I get the feeling that he’s very tidy, which would be much appreciated.  I remember him worrying about the fact that the bed hadn’t been made at one point.  He’d probably drive me mad because he is a little too particular.  I think I’d quite like being with Ralph, because there’s a guy who knows how to party like it’s 1944, and there’s nothing nicer than a big gay conga, but Laurie is far too intellectual for me. It’d be all “But Aeschylus said…”  Sod Aeschylus.  Have another gin and tonic, for gawd’s sake.

Sebastian Flyte from Brideshead Revisted.

Argh!  No no no no no no no.  He’d turn up, pissed as a fart, having left his family and he’d stay for some indeterminate time, taking up the best bedroom, making me make tea and quails eggs (you try and get them in Great Yarmouth, I just challenge you) for him and Aloysius and inviting his bitchy friends over to eat me out of house and home.  The cats would get fed up that Aloysius had his own bed and Sebastian would borrow the car without telling me and leave it somewhere after having had an accident.  I’d soon get fed up with his anti-church, mother-fixated diatribes, I can tell you, and he’d be on the first train back to Bridey.

Rafe Goshawk from Standish

Depending on whether he’d actually met Ambrose,  he’d be two different kinds of nightmare.  B.A. (Before Ambrose) he’d be a selfish arrogant git who didn’t care we were cohabiting or not.  He’d have all sorts of rough trade to stay overnight, and would flaunt them, half dressed, most likely, at the breakfast table, or would kick them out and leaving me to pick up the pieces as they wailed at the misuse and his hard heartedness.  Then there’s the constant bitchiness of Francis who would call unexpectedly just to catch Rafe out, and if he found him away from home I’d have to listen to hours of “WHY DOESN’T HE LOVE ME…..?” which can get wearing very very quickly, let me tell you.

P.A – Rafe would be fluctuating between over-effusive affection, sappy endearments, reckless spending, reams of love letters.  He’d spend lifetimes bending my ear on the best way to get Ambrose to take him seriously, asking my advice and never taking it, and then when the shit hits the fan, he’d turn into a cross between Jekyll and Hyde and Heathcliff. *shudder *  No thanks.

Alexander the Great from Renault’s Books

OK. This really wouldn’t work.  I’m not a happy camper at the best of times, and if you want me to come and live with you, don’t expect me to live FOR YEARS in a tent, no matter how luxurious they are.  Do I have “camp follower” tattooed on my forehead? Don’t answer that.

Alexander is a Bloke.  Not only that, he’s a Big Spoiled Bloke.  He’d be all “LOVE ME, BECAUSE I DESERVE IT” then he’d bugger off down the pub with his mates every night, leaving me along to sit and spin or whatever I would be expected to do, listening to Bagoas babbling on about how he loves his Aleksander and all the sexy things he’d learned to do to him, and how grateful he was. Blah blah blah.  Then Alex would rattle on home, pissed as a fart, tumble into bed with Bagoas and SNORE.

Fleury from Standish

At first glance this looks like a match made in heaven.  Fleury has a lot of qualities that I like and share. He’s got a wicked sense of humour, likes a drink, has absolutely no scruples about many moral issues.  As a drinking partner he’d be a good laugh.

To live with, though?  Hmmm. Perhaps not.

He likes things his own way, and when he doesn’t get them, he has the ability to turn instantly violent with an implacable and frightening sang froid that even Ambrose never saw.  Rafe recognised it in him. The only reason that Ambrose never saw it was that Fleury was in love with Ambrose, and in the main, was amused by Ambrose’s inner strength.  He’s also capable of destructive bouts of maudlin behaviour, leading me to suspect that he’s bipolar.  He’s also completely blind to any sense of law–he doesn’t see it wrong to rob, because a rich man is only looking after money that really belongs to Fleury, so you’d KNOW he’s going to get into trouble eventually, making you fear every knock on the door in the middle of the night…

Far far far too high maintenance.

Michael Gooding from Transgressions

Oh come on.  Now you’re taking the piss.

Considering that, as a woman in 17th century England, I’d hardly even be considered to be human by many people, this wouldn’t be a happy co-habiting by any means.  Michael isn’t homosexual, as many man weren’t who indulged in relations with other men.  (Both characters from As Meat Loves Salt for example, had been married before and considered getting married again.)  Considering Michael is a religious zealot, he’d insist on marriage, and after that I’d be his property, which isn’t a happy thought. Once he meets Jonathan and begins to fall in love, he’d be impossible to control, because control is his purview.  Hopefully I’d have the sense to run away at this point, because he’d soon find the wax figure of him with the pins through it and it would be “WITCH! SHE’S A WITCH,” and then there’d be ducking and screaming, and a trial, and … well, it wouldn’t end well…

So, that’s my pick of Who Not To Live with.

Please share your favourites. Are there any ones who you’d think it would work with?  Could you live with Charlie Cochrane’s clever professors?  Is life onboard ship with Lee Rowan’s guys something you  could do?  Do Dr Fell’s peculiarities make you want to move in, or run for the hills?

Have some fun with it!


  • I’ve often thought I could handle living with Philemon Raft, but he’s as much a misanthrope as I am, so probably not. Freddie would be lovely – but then, he’s written to be that way and any road, it’s best not to get too attached to him.

    I always tend to go for the anti-hero types, or the Second Banana, or the best friend, or the locked-in-a-lightning-struck-tower-making-monsters-out-of-other-blokes type of guy…

    Or Bela Lugosi. That cape is hawt. 🙂

    • Oh yes, I can see sharing a set of rooms with Raft, although his maudlin behaviour would piss me off. Freddie would be handy to have around – because he makes tea all the time, and that’s something I LIKE.

      And you are a weird person, but we knew that.

      • I KNOW! Raft would drive me mental. He’s so brooding. Freddie makes excellent tea, and he’s insightful and funny. He’d be very easy to live with. 🙂

        You know, I love this idea of yours…I may have to adopt it for something similar over at The Macaronis… 😉

        huggles back

        • Feel free – I think everyone should do it ! I didn’t want to do other writers’ characters because I think they’d get their feelings hurt! But it was fun to look at my own and realise what a fucked-up bunch of wankers they all are.

          • I think it’ll be my next post…because there are so MANY fucked-up wankers in my books…not sure what that says about me, since I’m married to a nice, normal fella. 😉


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Erastes is an author of gay historical fiction. Her novels cover many time periods and locations. She lives in Norfolk UK with demanding cats and never seems to have enough time to serve them.
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