Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Haywire, A J Llewellyn and D J Manly


An interesting read that travels a haywire path indeed.

- Review by Kazza K

Briefly, Haywire is about Jack Connors, his husband Dex, and their son Nicky who are on vacation in LA. They are visiting Universal Studios, taking in the rides, when Dex and Nicky disappear, well, not really, as someone is claiming they are Dex and Nicky. Jack stresses out, gets tasered, ends up in hospital and, when he wakes up, his parents are relating to the "new" Dex and Nicky like they're actually them. Jack's family photos are also of the people he's claiming are imposters, so, WTF? Are they imposters? Is Jack crazy? Is Jack right?

Hmm, let me try to review this book. First of all the official blurb may have you thinking this book is darker than it is. If that worries you, don't let it. Despite the subject matter, and the cover, I honestly don't believe that Haywire is a dark book at all. I suspect people may see this book differently to me, though. The premise is good, somewhat like The Forgotten mixed in with Changeling and The Twilight Zone, one could think. It started out serious, got kind of funny, got a bit serious and bounced around. I don't know whether the authors took it uber seriously, I didn't. But I enjoyed myself.

Why did I like Haywire as much as I did? Well, after the inital feeling of "shit! I'd hate this to happen to me," I just kind of let go of reality, suspended disbelief, and went along for the ride I was taken on (pardon the pun); and enjoyed it. Look, there were some niggles - how did Jack's photo in his wallet, of his 'old family', become the 'new family' at Universal Studios?' National Clandestine Service? Really? Also, Jack took things pretty damn well, all things given, and the sex happens at freaky deaky times. Speaking of that, I found all the sex...sexy, don't laugh, I can't say that for all sex. There is not a lot of it, but it's always at the most inconceivable times - your husband and child are missing, a guy may be/is impersonating your partner, but fuck it, Jack always wanted to do a guy with a big cock, and this 'new Dex' has a big cock, plus, I must admit (I mean) Jack must admit, he's into good porn, Michael Lucas and Matthew Rush = good choice. Plus, 'new Dex' is into giving head, win! Once again I found it freakin' sexy, if not terribly believable. Maybe I have no moral compass, eh, it's fiction who cares! Also, when they were on the run, and pretty unsure of where they stood, they had a blowjob and a fuck, what the hey? Not likely to be on your mind, really, but, once again, yes, I found it (oddly) sexy. It's fiction, and from the first sexual encounter, I just went with the flow and had fun with it.

Also at the root of my like of Haywire was the fact that I found the book entertaining. It was a page turner for me, for a number of reasons; I wanted to know what was going to happen - why/how did Jack's husband and son disappear? Who were the imposters? Were they really imposters or was it Jack? Who/what was behind it all? There were other questions, but I don't want to give away spoilers. I liked Jack and 'new Dex' so that helped my enjoyment factor as well. Plus, there was some excitement, characters on the run, a sense of chaos and plenty of pop culture references thrown in, with some subtle digs at modern technology and our society, God, how can we go without Facebook!? I loved it when people were phoning into the radio station, I just kept thinking "how's your bug-out plan really going Doomsday Preppers!" I'm random. Also, I love(d) the Twilight Zone, and this kind of had that vibe going on.

I believe you can take this book 1 of 2 ways, more seriously than I did, or, like me, have a bit of fun with it. I think because of my age I got, and loved, the retro references to certain things - like quaint nods to an older generation - "bigger" (man) "than" (I) "Gunga Din," "swell," "have a kip," and reminders of Lucille Ball coming out and waving when Universal offered tours only; as opposed to Desperate Housewives sitings, pfft to them.

In wrapping up I may have totally misconstrued the way this book was intended to be taken :) but, what can I say? Other than it's how it read to me; and I liked it. Anyway, I recommend Haywire to those that like their M/M with a some mystery, some sci-fi, some interesting references, a bit of action, a bit of WTF?, and some entertainment.


  1. Sounds like my sort of read - on my list now! :))


    1. I'm not sure that my take on this book is necessarily what either writer really had in mind; I can't say, as I don't know them. It's a different "random" to your random, Anne. I enjoyed myself by just giving into the book and going, "OK, whatever," and had some fun with it, and that worked for me.