Caroline and her Dom live out their normal lives amongst the poverty, alcoholics, and street preachers of Swansea, Wales. But when Dom and his straight roommate fall in love - a passionate, secret, non-sexual love - their lives are transformed into a queer chaos of cross-dressing, gender bending and free love. Will Dom hold on to his relationship? Can religious fundamentalists be adopted as pets? And just what are The Lesbians up to? The battle between preachers and drag queens, skinheads and sex workers, boyfriend and girlfriend, is set to change the city forever.
"Love conquers all, especially such trivial things as monogamy and sexual orientation, in this polyamorous romance... a sprightlier comedy of modern manners." - Kirkus Reviews
"Set in Swansea, Wales, The Giddy Death of the Gays & the Strange Demise of Straights is an engaging and thought-provoking read. It’s a story about breaking free of restrictions — relationship conventions, geographical place, traditional gender identity." - Out in Print
"Redfern Jon Barrett’s second novel is a fantastic ride through the lives of these Swansea residents.... The Giddy Death of the Gays and the Strange Demise of Straights is recommended to any library that collects popular fiction." - GLBT Roundtable of the American Library Assoc.
"In The Giddy Death of Gays and the Strange Demise of Straights, Redfern Jon Barrett’s rambunctious second novel, an oddball and one-of-a-kind romantic comedy, Swansea’s not much of a habitat to celebrate. At best, the choral voices of Caroline, Rutti, Dom, and Richard, the novel’s twentysomething first-person narrators, damn it with faint praise as relatively affordable and quiet; and as better than nothing. Usually, though, they dwell on faults.... Bennett’s accomplished at handling the quartet of distinct first-person narrators. Caroline, inhabiting 'the life of a geography postgrad' has just enough money to both eat and pay rent. She works at a “shitty place that calls itself a bar.” She’s in love with Dom, an introverted maths grad student. Richard’s shy, an avid gamer, and employed by a call center with a daily surplus of idiotic callers." - Lambda Literary Foundation
"Each character takes centrestage and becomes the protagonist, not only in their designated first person sections, but throughout. It takes real skill to make this reader identify with a straight woman, a straight man, a drag queen, a lesbian, and their fluctuating identities, all sometimes within a single chapter. Most importantly, it made me examine my own identities and question the strictures that I have built around them." - MyGayToronto.com
Redfern Jon Barrett is a writer and polyamory rights campaigner armed with a doctorate in literature. Author of The Giddy Death of the Gays & the Strange Demise of Straights and the upcoming Forget Yourself (Lethe Press, 2016), his works have exhibited in seven countries and been translated into five languages. His writing has featured in PinkNews, A cappella Zoo (and its tenth anniversary ‘best of’ edition), Strange Horizons, Heiresses of Russ: The Year’s Best Lesbian Speculative Fiction 2014, as well as Shaped by Time (National Museum of Denmark, 2012). He currently works with Guernica magazine as a fiction reader, dividing his time between Britain and Berlin, where he lives with his two partners and plays too many board games.