A VVivacious Review: My Bare Naked Heart by David Avery

Rating: 4 Stars out of 5
my-bare-naked-heartThe year is 1957 and John Branson has entered a whole new world as he gets admitted to Inverness College in Vermont. His first year at Inverness is a roller-coaster ride that brings with it friendship, first love, sexual exploration, betrayal, heart break and lots more.  In a time when being homosexual was illegal, he struggles with his feelings towards men. Despite his apprehension he ends up making life-long friendships and ushering in an era of his life where all his hidden desires are for once and for all confronted.
This book is written in an autobiographical style and chronicles the first year in college of our MC, John Branson. What I liked about this autobiographical style was that when John talked about a particular person, he gave his entire perspective on that person that he had formed over the course of his life instead of being limited to the present, so it was like you had a little glimpse into the future and a more solid grasp of the person’s character. What kind of freaked me out was that sometimes in his glimpses of the future he sounded like an old man and I realized that John, if alive today would have been my grandfather’s age and that kind of freaked me out a little and also in a roundabout way put into perspective the time period we were dealing with.
This book is a literal cock-fest, John has six friends, Anthony, Howell (aka Howl), Ted (aka Sasquatch), Daniel (aka Wonder Bread), Freddy and Eddie (aka Shorty), and all of them are introduced with descriptions of their cocks. I have never in my life read such detailed descriptions of cocks and I actually studied Anatomy, so yeah that helped get me into John’s frame of mind of a horny teenager fascinated by cocks.
It takes time for the book to get interesting but once it managed to capture my imagination, I really liked it. This book at its heart is about John’s experience with his sexuality, his journey as he comes to terms with himself and kind of assimilates what he feels with how everybody else feels about it.
This book has a richness of characters. There is Anthony and his unfailing loyalty and his monster cock. There is Daniel who is a little uptight but he really comes through when John needs him to and Shorty who was this amazing person. I really liked him. I had the same revelation about him as John does and I kind of hate the fact that we know exactly how his future turns out to be. Then there was Dusty, Dusty was so amazing but in a way I kind of regretted the fact that we never got to see him in the same light as John views his friends, because John puts Dusty on a pedestal, his descriptions of him appear tinted.
My only issue with this book is a (spoiler, so read ahead at your own peril or just skip this paragraph) the infidelity. The fact that it happens on two separate occasions doesn’t help matters. What my major issue with it was not that it would happen, but that I personally didn’t get how he could think about Dusty as he did and still manage to hurt him twice. I mean once I can attribute to his ineptitude in relationships but the second time just felt wrong. Also I couldn’t reconcile John’s personality with this little titbit.
I liked how this story evolves and I loved the ending, even though I am half crazed trying to figure out what all, that last sentence could have possibly meant.
Cover Art. I really liked the cover especially the likeness of Inverness College.
Sales Links
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 326 pages
Published October 14th 2016 by Walt Whitman Press
Edition LanguageEnglish