I’ve been recommending The Strange Haunting of Johnny Feelwater. It was written to provide a sensory and emotional reading experience, along with illustrating how a man’s sexuality plays such an integral role in his life, enthusiastically reviewed by those who have read it.
The novel is available in Kindle or paperback form on Amazon, for your Nook at Barnes & Noble, or for just about any other reading device or your computer at Smashwords. Give it a try and then let me know your thoughts. It will make my day to hear from you.Pin It
The Partisans, A review on Amazon
Martin Brant uses his excellent word skills to take readers through three fascinating and heart stopping story lines simultaneously. First, you have a lovely, single, and very focused French young woman named Adrienne. She is paired with Ethan, a handsome, single, virile American black man. They are paired in a strange mission for the French Resistance during World War II; it almost seems as if they’ve been demoted to retrieving a satchel lost in a plane crash. They’re both more attuned to selective assassination, destruction of war materiel and facilities. But their instructions are very clear and leave no room for variation. And the hormonal level between them is rising rapidly. They just don’t realize that their hormones are climbing different mountains.
After narrowly escaping a raid by the Gestapo, Adrienne and Ethan manage to make some fair progress on their journey, even though Ethan received a serious but non-fatal injury which is slowing them down. They put up in a farm barn one night. They think their only company is a somewhat lethargic cow. Oh no, Brant has more in store for our pair. They soon learn that a German grunt soldier has defected and is hiding out in the same barn. He is the well educated and intelligent young architect named Jhan, forced into military service after he refused an assignment within the German government in Berlin.
Jhan manages to satisfy their disbelief about his defection and they become a trio of specialists: Adrienne is the impetuous tactician, Ethan is the voice of reason as well as the one who takes Adrienne’s ideas and makes them practical. Jhan is multi-lingual and proves invaluable in communications.
I do not mean to denigrate the Gestapo vs. Resistance story line, it proceeds as you would imagine after having several breath-holding episodes. The French government, the English government, and even the American government become involved, the satchel is retrieved and successfully delivered. In the process, a fourth game player is introduced into the hormonal turmoil.
Okay, on to the salacious part of the story. Gentlemen: put it away and zip up your pants Continue readingPin It
“The Strange Haunting of Johnny Feelwater”. Hmmm, how do I describe how this book entered my being and affected me? I sincerely believe that any given book may affect you in ways which the author never expected or intended. For me, “Rebecca” by Daphne duMaurier and “Chesapeake” by James Michener did it. And now Johnny Feelwater has joined the pantheon of life altering characters for me.
When I stopped being an anal retentive, married idiot in the early 1990’s the so called mens movement was alive and well. I devoured all the Joseph Campbell and Robert Blye I could get my hands on. Then I realized that all their allegories and metaphors didn’t mean jack shit to me. I’m way too literal for their style of writing.
Then this man named Martin Brant started writing. And I started reading his work. As a gay man I immediately started questioning whether Brant is straight, bi or gay. My gaydar just wasn’t kicking in on this, it was buzzing but not strongly. I was well into the second book when I decided the answer to that question was immaterial since he covers all three orientations with magnificent and intelligent insight. Who cares how he gets his rocks off? My concern is that he continues writing because he has a great deal to say which transcends anything Campbell or Blye wrote for me. And he gracefully bridges the chasm between being intelligent and being intellectual without talking down to his audience.
Johnny Feelwater. Who is this man? He is an amazingly grounded man who – gee, what a surprise – starts questioning himself as a man, as a husband, as a lover, and as an African American. I make no pretense to identifying with the last fact, to do so would be the height of hubris as I am lily white and have no reference points on that issue. However, I can relate in all other ways. And the way he unravels what is happening in his life, and the way in which he interprets and adapts to what is happening – well, wow, does it resonate! I mean, really. Here is a man who runs away from his problems by giving his wife some cock-and-bull story about seeing someone in the depths of Africa. Does he act like your typical shallow male, letting his little head think for the big one? Does he attempt to believe the crap he just sold to Marilee? No, he takes the new round of adversities, compares them to his problems back in Georgia, USA, and, whoa, HE LEARNS something about life and about himself which alters his life irrevocably.
And he does it without allegory, without metaphor! And he gave me an understanding of men, of myself, and of my world which amounted to a series of “ah ha” moments.
Like I said, he is a grounded man. He does things somewhat pragmatically. He thinks things through without romanticizing the issues. He confronts his demons as best he can and accepts that in some respects he never will be able to do that.
Martin Brant: thank you! And if you ever suspect you’ve lost your Muse, let me know. I will hunt him/her/it down, hog tie it, bitch slap it, and return it to you.Pin It
Looking For An Intriguing Summer Read?
Kindle and Nook prices have been reduced on three of my books to help introduce them to more readers. If you identify with the philosophy of Enlightened Male, you’ll identify with the tales I write. They are available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble paperback and ebook form, and at Smashwords for all other ebook readers.
“I thoroughly enjoyed The Strange Haunting of Johnny Feelwater. Savannah (Georgia) and Kenya come alive in author Martin Brant’s descriptions. The diverse cast of characters is compelling, and the suspense is built-in by the multi-sensorial descriptions of a haunted house filled with a range of unsettling beings, and by the question of what kind of intriguing “debauchery” Johnny will be coerced into next!
Johnny stumbles into a sticky web of relationships between his wife Marilee, the otherworldly siblings Julian and Cassandra, and his new friend Brian. Ultimately he realizes an important difference–love–between the nature of his relationship with Brian and that of his relationship with Julian. Marilee opens up to her body and its responses thanks to Johnny, and Johnny finally learns the reason for Cassandra’s revenge.
The ending is a terrific wham/bam whirl, with one surprise after another in the last few pages, including a main character’s deus-ex-machina solution, very nicely done.
The Strange Haunting of Johnny Feelwater is a portentous and philosophical novel, not to be confused with barely-sketched characters ripping each others’ pants off. Sure there’s sex: the erotic massage scene is riveting, and the leather “heathen” sequence appropriately disgusting yet compelling! But beyond this, Brant’s writing expertly explores the “haunting” of bisexuality: a phantom sex hovering in the wings, an obsession never completely conquered in the heft and smell of remembered flesh. At times the novel seems to confirm the common perception that bisexuality is merely the mid-life crisis of married men who realize they’re gay. But at other times, we read and understand the circumstances of characters for whom bisexuality is not a transitional phase, but a way of life. Highly recommended, suspenseful, beautiful writing.”
Review by Logunede Jones on Amazon
“Martin Brant sure knows how to put a good story together, and he’s done it again in Copperas Cove. With the main character, Jonathan Scott, challenging his inner urges, readers are also left with a few challenges…be they where we all stand in the full spectrum of human sexuality or our attitude to racial discrimination. Set in the USA deep south in the mid-nineteen-fifties, the tale is gripping/surprising/enlightening, and a whole lot of other “ings” which all amount to fascinating, and damn good reading. One hopes that Martin can keep going with more of his stories, and I for one wait with eager anticipation.”
Review by Douglas Gellatly.
“In the far far-away recesses of our souls, behind all those cobwebs of yes’s and no’s, do’s and don’ts, and alleged transgressions we picked up along the way, our hearts may feel a featherlike caress of an erotic thought. Is it a desire, never acknowledged, never admitted and, more likely, never acted upon with anyone?
Then, too, there are those of us who live out our erotic dreams. However, our tastes along these lines are as varied as winter snowflakes. Mr. Brant’s book is an anthology of his short stories that cover the gamut of human fantasy or delight. “For those Enlightened Minds” at least one of the stories might be an injection of adrenaline into a not so intimate relationship…a map to try something new.
His description of ordinary/out-of-the-ordinary sexuality (reliant on the reader’s fantasy) is excellent. From his other two books, one knows of the quality of Mr. Brant’s distinction as a writer.”
Review by Alain GastonPin It
Take this one the beach, lake or desert with you. Pull up a chair or blanket and enjoy. I could not put it down. Perfect reading for the summer or anytime. Thank you, Martin!
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Five Married Men is first-rate literary entertainment, and much more. If you are looking for summer reading that grabs your attention, this is it. This novel has believably likable characters, intricate plot development, romance, sex, drama, suspense, humor, and action. There’s something for everyone. More importantly for me, Five Married Men is an honest discussion of male bisexuality. As a bisexual married man who has just recently come out of the closet, I found this book heart-breaking in its accurate portrayal of the challenges that face men like me and their wives. I can’t say how much Martin Brant writes from experience, from thorough research, or from an incredible imagination. But I can say, from MY experience, that his fictional characters are as real as the men I’ve met in support groups, chat groups, and bars. The emotional conflicts, the clandestine meeting arrangements, the fear of discovery that are described in the book are happening all around us every day. Male bisexuality is marginalized in this country. Today’s pop psychologists tell us that there is no such thing as a bisexual man. Even the GLBT community struggles to understand us. It’s high time a book like Five Married Men was published. Maybe it will start some discussions that are overdue. Believe me, there are a lot more bisexual men walking around than you can imagine. If we all came out of the closet at once, the whole gay/straight dichotomy would go the way of the dinosaur. Don’t think for a minute that this book is all gloomy and depressing. It is also very provocative. Because Mr. Brant develops the characters so well, the sex scenes are much steamier than typical gay or straight erotica. If the text doesn’t turn you on, you’ll at least feel empathy for the lovers. Five Married Men is a novel that reassures bisexual men they are not alone, and educates the rest of society.
Five Stars … FIVE MARRIED MEN DELIVERS
I read Martin Brant’s first book A SONG IN THE PARK a year ago. That novel was excellent. Now I have to say that Martin has topped that one with FIVE MARRIED MEN. The new novel is an erotically charged action adventure, love story with page turning suspense. I found myself caring about what happened to all five of these men as they form a sort of on the down-low club. A secret group. Some bonding stronger than others, but all becoming closer to each other than most men would dare. As with all secrets, the truth comes out. The shattering and thought provoking conclusion left me wanting a sequel. I have to say the reading of this novel was time well spent.
Five Stars … Complete range of emotions!
Having been married to a woman and gay, I identified with the emotions, desires and choices these men made. I like how the author played out the stories of each man and his individual journey. I will look for more from this author!
Five Stars … IT WOULD BE A SHAME TO MISS OUT ON NOT READING THIS ONE
THE STORY WAS LITTLE BIT HARD TO GET MY HEAD AROUND AT THE START, BUT I HAVE NEVER HAD A BOOK MOVE ME THE WAY THIS STORY HAS MOVED AND UPSET ME LIKE IT DID. I EVEN REREAD THE LAST SEVERAL CHAPTERS TO HOLD ON TO THE MEN IN THE STORY JUST A LITTLE LONGER.
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THE ONLY BOOK THAT I THOUGHT WAS BETTER THAN THIS IS ‘FIVE MARRIED MEN’ AND ‘A SONG IN THE PARK’. THIS AUTHOR HAS A WAY OF MAKING YOU FEEL ALL THE EMOTIONS HIS CHARACTERS FEEL.
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I DOUBT THERE IS A BOOK BY THIS AUTHOR THAT WOULD NOT BE WORTH BUYING.
Five stars … A Song In The Park Original and Revised Copy
This was a wonderful and well written love story. I couldn’t put it down until I finished it because it was so good! Love is love no matter what your sexual preference is and this story more than proved it! Great book Mr. Brant! Review for the revised copy below. I read the original story in 2006 and loved it and I love this one too. This one adds a new twist to Michael’s character and it is a situation that not only could happen but has happened to gay men. If you have read the original book you will see that this adds to the storyline with the added details of how, why and when it happened. As I stated in my review from when I read the original book, love is love no matter what your sexual preference is. This is a great story about love, friendship, understanding, being understood, forgiveness, acceptance and tolerance.Pin It
***** – Copperas Cove – November 27, 2011
By R. A Rippy “rarippy” (Shelbyville, Tennessee United States)
This story takes place in 1954 during the segregated era. One man is on a journey to get away from his hometown and impending divorce to start a new life. His car breaks down near a small town in Mississippi (Copperas Cove) and he ends up staying there and his life takes a whole new turn. The racial divide is high and he ends up changing the way people think about Blacks by breaking down barriers and stereotypes that still lingered in the town despite it being the time of the demise of segregation. This book has it all that occurred during this era with lynching, beatings, murder and being falsely accused of a crime due to the color of your skin. There is romance and even a hint of homosexuality but as trademark of Martin Brant, it was tastefully done. I am Black and it hurt to read about the injustices done to my people during that time but it did happen and the sad part is that it is still happening today. Due to Martin’s outstanding writing style, while reading this book you will feel as if you are actually there while reading each page. Despite the subject matter, I really enjoyed this book and did not put it down until the last page. Some may be offended about the subject content of this book but it happened so it is what it is.Pin It
Review by: Douglas Gellatly on Nov. 07, 2011, on SMASHWORDS:
Martin Brant sure knows how to put a good story together, and he’s done it again in Copperas Cove. With the main character, Jonathan Scott, challenging his inner urges, readers are also left with a few challenges…be they where we all stand in the full spectrum of human sexuality or our attitude to racial discrimination.
Set in the USA deep south in the mid-nineteen-fifties, the tale is gripping/surprising/enlightening, and a whole lot of other “ings” which all amount to fascinating, and damn good reading.
One hopes that Martin can keep going with more of his stories, and I for one wait with eager anticipation.
When Jonathon’s marriage crashes around his head, pictures in a travel magazine inspire him to leave Pittsburgh to start a new life on the Gulf coast. Followed by phantoms from the past, he sets out envisioning the bliss of solitude and long lazy Saturdays on warm southern beaches. Maybe he can find a drugstore in Biloxi that needs a pharmacist. Maybe, if he meets the right woman, he can get these misguided notions about men out of his head.
The generator on his ’48 Ford coupe goes out fifty miles south of Tupelo, a long hot three mile walk to the next town, an isolated hamlet called Copperas Cove. Temporarily stranded, he finds himself having a hamburger at Rexall soda fountain, unaware that his destiny is taking shape in the mind of a young woman three stools down. Betty Marie, the quixotic town flirt, has taken an interest in him. Jonathon soon learns, if he’s looking for a job as a pharmacist, he came to the right place. Old man Peterson, the Rexall’s ancient pharmacist, has been wanting to retire for years Betty Marie quickly points out, that other than a beach, they don’t have anything in Biloxi he can’t find right here in Copperas Cove.
Simpler times in another era. An exiled husband facing life-changing events. An age old dilemma. A small town in the deep south. A brutal rape and murder. The bigoted dramas of 1950’s Mississippi … Ingredients all for a witches brew of emotion, mystery and intrigue. Copperas Cove weaves an unpredictable thread through the lives of all concerned, a thread that changes Jonathon’s life forever.Pin It