Friday, 19 February 2016


Paris Demands
Author: Mike Miksche
Publisher: Lethe Press
Genre: Gay Fiction
ISBN: 978-1-59021-576-0
Reviewed By: Sandra Scholes

Roger daydreams about his imaginary lover, Jac hoping he could be his real lover as his real live-in lover Marcel has a less than perfect attitude to their relationship. Astonished at his own foolishness, Roger is aware he is being used as nothing more than a doormat by him; even though he accepts Marcel has other men in his life. He doesn't like his disregard for him, and the reason for Marcel’s disinterest is obvious. He has grown bored of their life together though they have only spent a short while as a couple. It is much easier for Marcel to push Roger away, denying him closeness and the sexual pleasure they used to enjoy.

Marcel acts careless enough, returning late from work, and seeing other men, not taking his lover's feelings into account. Once Roger comes to terms with the fact Marcel will never be the lover he needs, he sets up a profile on an on-line gay chat site, calling himself Paperboy 26. There he meets a guy called Demi and the excitement of wanting to cheat on his own cheating lover sends him into a secret frenzy.

At this point, you can't help but cheer for Roger. The romance, the love has gone out of their relationship, Marcel seems more interested in his own friends and Roger would rather give Marcel a taste of his own medicine. Being a naive American who is at first struck by how fun and loving Marcel is when they first meet, he knows Marcel works as an assistant to a music producer, but what he doesn't tell Roger is that the real money is made selling drugs to the rich and famous in the clubs and bars of Paris. 

Roger is swept up in the haze of Parisian life, being new to it all, he goes along with whatever Marcel wants, meeting his shady friends and snorting endless lines of coke. By this point he is already in love, though he can't hide that he is unhappy he shares Marcel with other drug dealers and addicts who would show up at his flat all the time. As is in many novels of this type, the romance is rarely there, it is more a guidebook for men who want to get into a steady relationship and perhaps settle down, learning the pitfalls they might face when getting with a guy who thinks monogamy is a board game. 

Roger is the sort who would have liked to have settled down with Marcel and after he is warned about dealer Caesar and his crew of miscreants by a new friend, he wonders what lies in store for him if he keeps the same company. Also, Roger already suspects Marcel might be cheating on him from the start. Paris Demands is a story that unravels slowly around the Paris music scene, revolving around Roger, who grows tired of how he is treated by Marcel. The story starts with Roger evaluating his and Marcel's relationship, then shows flashbacks to his past experiences with his lover and what happened to make Roger decide he needed a change of direction. 

Paris Demands is the first novel from Mike Miksche, acclaimed Daily Xtra columnist who has also had his short stories published in many magazines both on-line and in print. This is as fresh as a month in Paris, giving the novel a delicious, dangerous edge with his prose.