Cleanness: Moral fastidiousness and S&M in city of Sofia

Garth Greenwell’s explicit novel of interpersonal chemistry and homosexuality engages

Garth Greenwell’s storytelling is so engaging and his sentences so immaculately weighted that they imbue his prose with suppleness and momentum.

Garth Greenwell’s storytelling is so engaging and his sentences so immaculately weighted that they imbue his prose with suppleness and momentum.

“[W]hen he spat on me it was like a spark along the track of my spine, who knows why we take pleasure in such things.”

Garth Greenwell’s second novel – which, like his 2015 debut, What Belongs to You, is narrated by a gay American man living in Bulgaria – is centrally concerned with the problem of pleasure. I use the word “problem” advisedly: if you’re of a sadomasochistic persuasion, getting your fix entails no small measure of risk.

The Irish Times
Please subscribe or sign in to continue reading.
The Irish Times

How can I keep reading?

You’ve reached an article that is only available to Irish Times subscribers.

Subscribe today and get the full picture for just €1 for the first month.

Subscribe No obligation, cancel any time.