Ready to Catch Him Should He Fall by Neil Bartlett
First published by Serpent's Tail, 1990
This Classics edition published by Serpent's Tail, 2017
Paperback, 336 pages.
It is 3 a.m. in The City, and in a dark corner of The Bar, two lovers collide in the beginnings of a passionate and violent affair.
Boy: nineteen, beautiful, ready for anyone to take him home, and 'O': the Older Man, cynical, unpredictable, and at the mercy of his personal demons. Their romance is orchestrated and observed by the owner of The Bar, Madame, who looks after her boys and ensures that their haven remains inviolate.
At once a joyful celebration of homosexual love and culture, and a devastating evocation of the homophobic climate which stemmed from the 80s AIDS crisis,Ready to Catch Him Should He Falloffers a decisively contemporary recasting of the traditional love story.
Neil Bartlett was born in 1958. His first book was the ground-breaking queer study of Oscar Wilde,Who Was That Man?, published in 1988, and his other novels are Mr Clive and Mr Page (1996), Skin Lane (2007) and The Disappearance Boy (2014). His fiction has been shortlisted for the Costa and Whitbread Awards, and in 2014 he was nominated as Stonewall Author of the Year. In 2000 he was awarded an OBE for his work in the theatre as a director and playwright.