At our meeting this past Wednesday, the first essay we discussed in The Lost Library: Gay Fiction Rediscovered (Tom Cardamone, editor) was Jameson Currier's tribute to Christopher Coe's second (and, alas, final) novel, Such Times.
I've had that book for many years but, like so many others on my shelves, just never got around to it. But this weekend I finally read it--something I've vowed to do every time we've read an inspiring essay in the various anthologies we've discussed over the years, but never before actually did.
Perhaps the best tribute I can pay to Coe is this: I've always been a fast reader (perhaps too fast), but it has been years since any book captivated me enough to finish 300-plus pages in three days. Don't get me wrong: It's not a perfect book by any means, any more than is its narrator, Timothy Springer. But if there is such a thing as a character who is redeemed by his flaws (and I tend to think there is), it is he.
Don't take my word for it, though: Discover Such Times for yourself. (But read Currier's essay first.)
And if, like me, you have a bucket list of books about which you've read reviews or essays, do yourself a favor and make the time to read at least one of them. Even if the experience doesn't fully live up to your expectations, it's still worth taking a chance.