If you met your dream lover, would you ever stay awake?
Title: The Midnight Man
Author: Kevin Klehr
Publisher: NineStar Press LLC.
Release Date: August 30, 2021
Heat Level: 1/5
Length: 189 pages
Genre: Magic Realism
Tags: gay, men over 50, established relationship, dreams,
Content Warnings: cheating, multiple partners, drug use, assault, trauma (past), homophobic slurs
Stanley is almost fifty. He hates his job, has an overbearing mother, and is in a failed relationship. Then he meets Asher, the man of his dreams, literally in his dreams.
Asher is young, captivating, and confident about his future—everything Stanley is not. So, Asher gives Stan a gift. The chance to be an extra five years younger each time they meet.
Some of their adventures are whimsical. A few are challenging. Others are totally surreal. All are designed to bring Stan closer to the moment his joyful childhood turned to tears.
But when they fall in love, Stan knows he can’t live in Asher’s dreamworld. Yet he is haunted by Asher’s invitation to “slip into eternal sleep.”
Klehr has once again created a theatrical-styled world with unique characters. The author’s use and choice of words are unlike anything else I’ve read. It’s descriptive, yet dramatic and elevated. It reminds me so much of my early adult theater days.
The blurb truly describes this story to perfection – without giving anyway any delicious details. Stanley’s current life status is in question, and he feels like he’s failed. That is, until he meets Asher in his dreams. We are never told exactly what type of beast Asher is, other than “A Midnight Man.” Throughout the book my demon-possessed brain kept trying to figure out…okay, is this thing demonic, like an Incubus? Or is it angelic, and playing the role of guardian angel? I think Klehr did us all a service by keeping us guessing.
Although one of the tale’s main concepts is cheating within a relationship, and I do know how many people do not like reading about this, the setup in the tale for this particular event was very realistic. Many couples in real life go through this. Some couples are open. It was an interesting avenue to see how the event was handled between Stanley and Francesco. Even more interesting when one of them is having an affair with a dream entity. Is that truly cheating?
The dream sequences were surreal – as they should have been – occasionally disjointed, again, kinda perfect, and allowed the reader to play around with picturing these story parts with a certain amount of fluidity…again, mimicking the dream state – after all, how many of us regularly have dreams where all the parts are cohesive and make sense? I don’t mean to say that Klehr’s writing is in any way confusing, so much as he’s written bright spots into the novel where you know you’re in a dream, and the atmosphere and environment are well reflective of the dreamscape.
I was also so pumped to have gay characters who were mature, and not playing “Daddy” roles. This was an exploration of an establish couple’s relationship decline. The men were easily identifiable as any members of the community I know around me. It was a brilliant change of pace from the usual young gays falling in love, or teen angst coming out arcs we so often see.
There’s a big role here for self-actualization and empowerment. Two qualities that I think most of us struggle with our entire lives. Just when it would seem that we have our identities figured out, and become comfortable within our own skin, your life experience and age always seem to trip that up. Knowing who you are, at any point in life’s journey will change. Because you change. I think in the end, Klehr’s story is about exactly this; discovering who we are, recognizing our pasts, discovering where our potential lies, and learning what we need from ourselves and others to make us the most we can be – at different points in our lives.
This is an interesting story that led me down a contemplative path.
Kudos once again.
Meet the Author:
Kevin lives with his husband, Warren, in their humble apartment (affectionately named Sabrina), in Australia’s own ‘Emerald City,’ Sydney.
His tall tales explore unrequited love in the theatre district of the Afterlife, romance between a dreamer and a realist, and a dystopian city addicted to social media.
His first novel, Drama Queens with Love Scenes, spawned a secondary character named Guy. Many readers argue that Guy, the insecure gay angel, is the star of the Actors and Angels book series. His popularity surprised the author. The third in this series, Drama Queens and Devilish Schemes, scored a Rainbow Award (judged by fans of queer fiction) for Best Gay Alternative Universe/Reality novel.
So, with his fictional guardian angel guiding him, Kevin hopes to bring more whimsical tales of love, life and friendship to his readers.
Catch Up With Kevin: