The Cure for Sodomy
In the Cure for Sodomy (249 pages), Ken Shakin weaves together history and gossip to tell the tale of the Sodomite. From oversexed altar boy to electroshock crucifixion, a ravenous youth is cut short by the cure for sodomy … once upon a time, a crime against the state.
The Cure for Sodomy is a blistering novel about passion and liberation—with a decidedly bad attitude.
One day on the unforgiving streets of New York City, you pass by an old man. A homeless bum, reliving the earthquake in his mind. A victim of electroshock therapy, he claims. The cure. For sodomy. In a moment of small compassion, you invite him for a coffee. He begins to tell you his story. How he cruised through life, dancing the night away. And suddenly you realize he could be you.
The novel covers some rather uncomfortable chapters of American history. Until 1967, anyone arrested for the crime of sodomy was eligible for a variety of state-sanctioned torture masquerading as “treatment.” Homosexuals were drugged, electrocuted, castrated, and lobotomized— sometimes forcibly, sometimes willingly. Until recently it was illegal for two people of the same gender to merely dance together. Underground clubs were routinely raided by undercover police in drag. Fast-forward to the twenty-first century and dancing is still against the law—without a license. What is free expression in the age of terrorism? What happened to liberation, gay or otherwise? Ken Shakin’s thoughtful and outrageous style brings the bizarre to life in an unforgettable New York story of crippled souls trying desperately to free themselves from earthly bondage, then as now.
Ken Shakin, author of the acclaimed Love Sucks (1997), walks the thin line between journalism and fiction. His books search for the poetry in the most vulgar aspects of everyday existence and push the boundaries of taste, starting with the title, e.g., Grandma Gets Laid (2008). The Cure for Sodomy, originally published by Haworth Press in 2006, blends fact and fiction in a novel about unending desire and the lust for release in a restrictive world. Based on the medical reports of homosexuals given electroshock therapy, the central narrative takes the author on an eye-opening trip and intersects with his own struggle to survive. Two lives intertwine for a short cup of coffee and a long conversation, revealing a funny, absurd, tragic story dedicated to the perverse nature of the human spirit.
“Shakin is a wonderful stylist. His way with words is amazing … No one reading this novel can possibly put it down.”
– J. Peter Bergman, EDGE Entertainment
“Investigative journalism meets erotica … social studies for a hardcore age.”
– Edgar Dylar, The Movie Times
Ken Shakin has been called the most flippant man in fiction. His irreverent books stain the shelves of the public library, including the highly acclaimed Love Sucks (1997), Grandma Gets Laid (2008), and most recently Thrillerotica (2010). Thrillerotica.com is home to his unique genre, “calculated to send a shiver down even the most desensitized spine” (Omnilit). The New York native is a graduate of the Juilliard School, with a degree in piano. He lives in Berlin.
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