Parallel Lives by Peter Burton, is a memoir that falls into three unequal parts: the first section sees PB (Peter Burton) coming to terms with his adolescent self. this is very gracefully written as is the very end of the book describing the last few years.
The rest is a carnival of name-droppings and descriptions of unpleasant people getting unpleasingly blotto and/or pilled.
Peter Burton has no time for the ‘Gay’ movement because it is dominated by middle-class types who look down on working-class people like himself. He also exalts the commercial scene over the efforts of the ‘politicals’, and glossy mags over the likes of … GAY STAR(?), THE PREDECESSOR OF ACOMSDave (the Blog).
This class (ill-) feeling without any impetus towards change is a very English thing – mysterious to a simple Irish queen like myself. And the inability to spot the symbiotic relationship between the ‘scene’ and the ‘community is very London-village.
Despite these rather sharp criticisms, I look forward to a real autobiography from Peter Burton. Towards the end of this volume, he edges towards real self-analysis. He has a good brain, a sharp eye and commonsense, an assessment of himself and the sub-culture and also the general community could be a masterpiece.
Product details for Parallel Lives by Peter Burton
- Publisher : Gay Men’s Press (18 April 1985)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 128 pages
First published in Gay Star No 16, paper copy held at The Linenhall Library, Belfast