Voice of Force

Voice of Force Sexual Difference Cuts Deep Through G Roger Denson S VOICE OF FORCE, A Novel Chronicling The Escalating Estrangement And Tragedy That Ensue As A Gay Man And Straight Man Search For Mutual Ground Despite The Family, Faith, Profits, And Politics Dividing Them Newspaper Critic Ragland Hughes Is Openly Gay Opera Tenor Cosimo Fratangelo Is Famously Straight No One Gay Or Straight Says A Word As They Watch The Men S Relationship Evolve From Professional Association To Loving Friendship So Long As Both Men Remain Alive And Profitable When The Body Of One Of The Men Washes Ashore Off Long Island Sound, Convulsive Testimony Indicts The Survivor As The Prosecution S Lone Suspect The Media Melee That Ensues Not Only Casts Unwelcome Light On The Forces Keeping A Gay Man And A Straight Man From Enjoying Friendship, It Brands Hughes A Predator Of Heterosexual Men And Fratangelo A Sociopath Driven By Ambition As For The Disparate Voices Having Their Say In The Two Men S Lives, Sexuality Is To Be Defined And Judged As Something Much Than Genital Union Part Thwarted Love Story, Part Cautionary Tale, Part Philosophical Rant, VOICE OF FORCE Sounds Out The Deep Divide Of Sexual Difference Running Through Even The Most Liberal Of Enclaves With Destiny Seen As Neither Predestined Path Nor Consequence Of Human Choice But The Balance Of Submission And Resistance To The History Bearing Down On Us, A Simple Criminal Case Is Made A Microcosm Of Ancient Familial Fear We Know A Murder Has Been Committed But In The End We Re Left Deciphering What The Larger Crime Is And How Long It S Been In The Making G Roger Denson s novel Voice of Force is touted to be about men, but there is a lot said in it about women too Written as a dossier from the Manhattan Prosecution s office leaked to the public, the contents we gradually find out tell the history of a controversial criminal case Diary passages and transcripts of prison conversations indicate that a murder has led to the conviction of a man who maintains his innocence despite that, after three years on death row, he faces imminent execution It seems the guilt of the accused is one that the witnesses, the prosecution, and the jury hold in consensus All believe the crime is the culmination of a longstanding sexual predation despite that the evidence is largely circumstantial based on a diary, a short story and an opera libretto written by the accused, and of course the testimony of so called witnesses all of which we read directly instead of reading about Despite all this postmodern artifice which can sometimes be annoying and mundane , the story is as riveting for the rich characterizations as for what the characters betray about their own sexual misgivings and the misinformation the characters spread For that matter, by the time you conclude that you re not reading a murder mystery but an account of the different sources of prejudice that pronounce who is guilty Refreshingly, we are shown not just the prejudice of one side as so many novels settle on but that of all the parties at hand, including the accused As a result I became absorbed by the quality of the writing and the deeply penetrating and multifaceted psychology of the characters.This is a novel that travels the high road of thoughtful debate the whole way, showing all sides with remarkable clarity yet complexity In many ways the novel seems to play off Camus s work as well as that of Dostoyevsky, with all the debate, ambiguity, and ambivalence that marks the best existentialist writing Yes, sexual difference between straights and gays, men and women is central, but the novel burrows deep beneath the specifics of gender, identity, and culture to a source of humanity that is raw nerve and need The presiding question author Denson seems to be asking is, can anyone, with all his or her cravings, really ever get along with anyone else and all their cravings By the novel s end, I began to believe that human beings are as consuming as they are consumed And though we don t realize it until long after a character s sexuality has gripped us and perhaps aroused the prejudice that has been slumbering beneath our genteel lives, we learn that the drugs, ambition, greed, and most of all the fear that the various characters have hidden from view are ever consuming than the sexual desire that stirs the sediments of prejudice up into a tempest.My only regret is that the author didn t abandon his convention of using other genres beside that of the memoir to get his message and philosophy across Appropriation of everyday media formats is old hat and doesn t hold up nearly as well as the time tesed format of the conventional novel Nonetheless, the first section a memoir and the last section transcripts of prison confessions and accusations are beautifully written, at times even startlingly so. Although the tags for this book have been labeled Gay Novel, this book is much than that In the larger sense, it s really a philosophical novel about sexual difference For Voice of Force in essence asks some simple questions Has increased awareness of sexuality and difference truly helped us live harmonious lives Or has it merely compelled people to mask the prejudice they inherit from traditions and institutions beneath a civilized veneer Increasing tolerance may have softened the fault lines of social prejudice, but Denson suggests that when a public tragedy draws out the voices of discontent, we learn just how deeply homophobia still shapes and enforces everyday life in even the most liberal of enclaves The story concerns two men, famously straight opera tenor Cosimo Fratangelo and an openly gay newspaper critic Ragland Hughes A beautifully written, sometimes ecstatic and mystical memoir draws us in on the relationship that evolves into a naked and raw exposition on two very different kinds of obsession Then, suddenly, the memoir ends and the entire format of the novel changes Without showing us a single criminal act, author Roger Denson chronicles what happens before and after one of the two protagonists is killed Thankfully we aren t led through the investigation or trial of the accused man Clearly this isn t a crime drama or suspensful who dunnit Instead, we are presented newspaper articles to represent the media melee that bring to light the forces keeping a gay man and a straight man from enjoying friendship While flirting with the popular fixation on crime dramas, soap operas, and celebrity scandals, the novel penetrates deep beneath such genres to trace the fault lines of a relationship cutting against conventions, identities and institutions defining who we believe ourselves to be Half way through, the format changes again We are presented a short story and an opera libretto both extraordinarily stylized that provide insight into the accused man s psyche Another format change and we are transported years later to a series of death row monologues and conversations, some of them confessions, others rants, all of them psychologically raw and revealing of the prejudice driving the characters In tracing the characters mind swing between depravity and mysticism, author G Roger Denson abandons the novelist s godlike prerogative of seeing all In its far reaching and philosophical scope, Voice of Force is a reflection on how an individual is judged according to the resistance he puts up to the forces bearing down on his life As the promotional copy on the back of the novel proclaims A murder has been committed, but the judgment lies in deciding what the true crime is and how long it s been in the making I would answer that, based on the material presented, that crime has been in the making for millions of years. It s always a reward to come upon a novel with highly intelligent characters, something hard to find these days It puts their flaws and mishaps into greater relief And in this case their prejudice.I never before realized to what extent things like family and profession set the die of our lives Even the landscapes in this novel determine why people do things.Two themes run throughout the novel, each pulling at the other The first is the force of destiny The second is the voice that force takes, or the people whose voices shape our lives Maybe even the voice of God, if you believe in such a thing Some of the characters in this story do, some don t But unlike most novels, the belief or disbelief in God doesn t simply get named and then taken for granted Everything here has a purpose for inclusion in the story Everything is weighed out Faith or disbelief gets raked through the character s lives in ways that they have to account for when facing the imminent death of a character later on Some of it gets expressed as guilt, some as self righteousness But all of what gets expressed has consequence in the world.The same can be said of other motives family and profession, especially And of course money.What I found most exhilarating is the way many of these motives get voiced unconsciously We hear the characters say one thing about what they did or believe yet see an entirely different picture of it as they describe it To see the delusion of a character at the same time the character sees it as a virtue or a necessity is the mark of a talented author Even though the structure of the novel is modern, I was made at times to think of George Elliot or Henry James Or at least an author of that ilk in the making.Not the smoothest of reads, for the abrupt changes in style and format obviously intended to mark the different voices telling the story , but a rich and complicated telling even when some of the characters become shrill and desperate See my list 20 Great Contemporary Novels for Summer at


[Epub] ➤ Voice of Force  ➥ G. Roger Denson – Ultimatetrout.info
  • Paperback
  • 438 pages
  • Voice of Force
  • G. Roger Denson
  • English
  • 11 September 2018
  • 9781451568622

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