Prowler, London, 2001
The blurb on the back:
Four young men are about to get the biggest break of their lives. In a hot new boyband, they ride into the pop charts on a wave of sex and success. But they're not like every other clean-cut bunch of cuties: they're gay, they're out and they're horny as hell.
'You certainly have high opinions of yourselves, I will say that. Now what is your band called?'
It's been an established fact of British pop music ever since the days of Larry Parnes ('shillings and pence') back in the 1950s that the best teen stars appeal equally to little girls and gay men. Consequently (or perhaps causally) many of the best managers and producers have been gay. On the other hand, the convention was that most of the stars themselves were straight.
Then, in the 1990s, the latter part of this equation changed to accommodate the rise of the boy band - turned out that there simply aren't enough straight young men left in this country with decent bodies and the ability to dance convincingly. (I'm not sure that there are any.)
So the premise of Boy Banned is a perfectly plausible extension of reality: an out boy band trying to sell their music to the kids. Except that the novel isn't really interested in the music as such. The real point to the book is ... well, take this shower scene, for example:
You get the picture? As far as gay porn goes, it's not my cup of meat, but then I guess it's not aimed at me, just as boy band records aren't aimed at me. It's got some nice jokey touches though - chapter titles like 'Roadie Rage', 'Fourgy' and 'At The Queen's Pleasure', for example - and it's literate enough. Recommended as a curio at least.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: 2/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT: 3/5
Paul Magrs, All The Rage