The Abomination, by Paul Golding, is a stream-of-consciousness text detailing the life of a gay man living in London. Raised Catholic by his Spanish mother, the author's childhood is one of isolation, humiliation and bourgeoisie discipline. His memoir details the loneliness and moral desolation of urban homosexuals of the lowest order, detailing sex clubs, tearoom culture, anonymous sex and the ravages of AIDS. His style is lyrical and faintly reminiscent of Ernest Hemingway, though more elaborate and possessing a quality of harsh vulgarity so appropriate to the wasteland of his existence.
This book made me want to put a gun to my head every time I picked it up. What Golding describes is indeed an abomination, a miscarriage of sexuality under the auspices of social disenfranchisement of the gay man. During all of his soulless sexual escapades, from hiring aging call boys to bringing home drunken one night stands, Golding describes a frenzied clutching for stability in a culture of material lust. Choking under the approbation of moral and legal strictures against him, he is left to a continuum of anonymous, unsafe sexual encounters. Golding speaks of the desolation of Gay culture, inadvertently raising serious questions regarding the place of the homosexual man in Western Culture.
Without the institution of gay marriage or at least viable civil unions, can the majority of homosexual men be blamed for the sexual incontinence that seems to occur within club culture? Is the wasteland not a logical outcome of the legal, and therefore philosophical second class citizenship universal to the gay or lesbian person? What Golding describes is the culture that, cut off from the Church and disowned by the protections of society, has made a temple to the flesh, built an altar of disconnected fornication on which to drown itself in semen. Where indeed is the man sine ecclesia, sine lege, sine probatione, sine bono, sine stabilitate? This is the question The Abomination, so accurately and mercilessly titled, asks us. Who can answer it without being overcome with rage against the horror of our desolation?