Sunday, 5 May 2013
Book Review: Dreams of a Hero by Charlie Cochrane
by Charlie Cochran
Mild-mannered and unassuming, Miles is on a journey he never expected. After a visit to Greece with his partner, Roger, he begins to experience vivid dreams in which he travels back in history and takes on the role of avenging hero.
Roger notices Miles's newfound bravery during his waking hours and is concerned that his lover is changing into someone he doesn't recognize.
When they discover a gay-friendly café is being plagued by violent thugs, Miles is uncharacteristically determined to take action, no matter the cost. Roger argues it would be both dangerous and pointless to intervene, but Miles insists he's been called to fight an army, and now he's found one.
On holiday in Greece with his civil partner, Roger, Miles is a mild-mannered man who starts having very vivid dreams about the Sacred Band of Thebes, where he and Roger are paired lovers/warriors. In the dreams, Miles is very brave and heroic, not something he'd ever considered of himself in real-life.
Roger notices that his partner starts behaving rather differently. More confident, more inclined to seek out trouble.
The couple then travel on to New England and discover a gay friendly cafe, The Laurel Wreath which was having a bit of trouble with some homophobic customers. Miles wants to stand up to them, which frightens Roger, as he doesn't want his lover to get hurt.
This was a wonderful, evocative short story, that lingers after the last line. For such a short piece, there is a great sense of place and a depth of character. You can feel the sun and the heat in Greece, you can almost hear the sea against the shore in New England.
Roger and Miles are so quintessentially British, even down to their complaints about some American food, in that they had trouble finding any vegetables. We'd had some of the same trouble on a holiday to the US and were almost ecstatic to find broccoli on our plate, even though we didn't really like broccoli.
I loved Roger and Miles, they were a joy to read about, and certainly wouldn't be averse to reading more about their adventures in the furture, if such a book came to pass.
I'd say the book is more of a slice-of-life look at Roger and Miles, rather than a romance as such. Sex is only alluded to, so you can safely give this book to your grandparents and they wouldn't be shocked.
It was a fun read.
Reviewed by Annette Gisby
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