Thursday, December 1, 2011

DECEMBER: The Unborn Spouse Situation by Matt Rauscher

Augie Schoenberg is twenty-two, an aspiring filmmaker at a school without a film school, and desperately single. He’s just moved into the Harley Hutt, the wildest party house on campus, and has fallen hard for his roommate Victor Radhakrishna, a campus political activist who is, for Augie, “a practical demi-god: a crusader for justice in skateboarding shoes.” The problem is, Augie is the only gay one in the house – or so he thinks. This darkly comic novel of sex, betrayal, and cultural clashes follows Augie’s search for love: from the cornfields of Illinois, to the gay beach and underground clubs of Chicago, and finally to the ecstasy-fueled nightlife of London, where Victor’s secret threatens to keep the two apart forever.
Published by: Lethe Press
Year of Publication: 2010
Number of pages: 236


  1. OFFICIAL MGBC REVIEW: The Unborn Spouse Situation by Matt Rauscher

    **SPOILERS AHEAD** (you have been warned)

    First and foremost, I have to admit something. This book, its characters, its location, and most of the events, strike very clearly on the pleasure sectors of my brain. I say this because I went to a college that was in the small town that did not have a big population. I was one of very few gay people on campus, but my friends were what one might call, “sexually free” not gay, but free of the hang ups that most straight guys have. Hearing the phrase, “Dude, I’m going to go jerk off right now.” was not uncommon. I lived in a house not unlike the Harley Hutt. We held the best parties, were very comfortable around each other, and nobody had a problem with the gay kid that lived there. So, reading this book, I was very nostalgic.

    The Unknown Spouse Situation (a terrible title that makes little sense in terms of the book and is only briefly mentioned) follows along a cast of characters whose sexual exploits make for a very exciting read. The story construction overall was not the best. I believe that there may have been one too many plot points. That said, I did end up caring about the characters.

    From the moment this book begins the main character, Augie Schoenberg, is thrown into an unbelievably great situation for a gay college student. He’s living in a house much like a frat house, filled with sexually free, good-looking men. His first interaction with his roommate and soon-to-be object of his affection, Victor, involves seeing him naked. Victor, for no apparent reason, asks Augie to switch boxers with them...

  2. The 1st section in this book is Augie being exposed to the naked bodies of his roommates which are wonderfully described by the author. Whether it be in the shower, or in a very hot scene in which his roommates have a “race.” (I may have bookmarked this section) We truly learn of the bi-curious nature of many of his roommates leading to a point where Victor decides to indulge himself.

    This leads to drama in the house, with his roommates, and other friends. This is where the book takes a turn and he can really feel the hurt and anxiety of the main character. His relationships are stressed, his mental state is unhinged, and I personally could very much relate to him. There is something about unrequited love that really gets to me and the author has really nailed it.

    Augie finishes school, gets out of a bad situation, and enters a new one. This is where the book kind of lost me a bit. After moving to Chicago, Augie finds himself living with a former Harley Hutt alum. They are both gay, and they have a lot in common. One night they are invited to an exclusive club amongst Chicago days. It is there that he meets a professional athlete. He becomes involved with them only to find out that he’s married and is leading a double life. Truth be told I feel like the story would’ve been just fine without this plot altogether. It is during this time that he finds out that Victor is getting married. He flies to London with a strong need to be there for Victor, only to find him somewhat happy in his current situation.

    Again, the feelings involved in this book are something that I can relate to very easily. There are other characters in this book that I didn’t mention that do make it a very full (and hot) story. While most of it is unbelievable, I would recommend this book for anyone who’s had to live in a frat house and be the only gay kid in the room.


    1. After reading your review, I;ll admit the first part of getting to know his frat brothers bodies was kinda hot & the circle jerk was damn amazing. OK, I did like those sections.

  3. OK, I must admit, I didn’t really like this book all that much. That was the most angsty & closeted frat house in the history of gay frat house lit.
    It also disturbed me how the writing style would change, especially when it came to the sex scene. And a sudden screenplay chapter out of nowhere?
    I never did connect with the main character and thought the whole situation was convoluted at times. Various examples of frat houses that didn’t foster a sense of community and camaraderie but were actively trying to fuck one another over (figuratively & literally).
    Then this whole closeted professional athlete bullshit. Bah, no thank you.
    Not my favorite selection of the book club so far.