Book Reviewers Wanted: Langford, No Going Back

9.9.09 | | 4 comments

First, a quick update: My book, No Going Back, is wending its way toward publication with Zarahemla Books this fall, and should be out (a term I use advisedly in this context) within the next couple of months. Much, much thanks to all of you who read and commented and some or all of it; the book is better for all your input.

As we approach publication, I’m trying to round up people who might have an interest in reading and reviewing the book, not just for AMV but for any other venue (electronic, print, etc.) that might have an interest in the subject matter.

Apropos of which, here’s the back-cover blurb describing the book:

“A gay teenage Mormon growing up in western Oregon in 2003. His straight best friend. Their parents. A typical LDS ward, a high-school club about tolerance for gays, and a proposed anti-gay-marriage amendment to the state constitution. In No Going Back, these elements combine in a coming-of-age story about faithfulness and friendship, temptation and redemption, tough choices and conflicting loyalties.”

So far as I know, this is the first novel to address the issue of same-sex attraction/gayness within an LDS context for a general LDS audience. It doesn’t end in suicide (a question I’ve been asked more than once), and the main thrust describes a teenager whose goal is to stay in the Church, not one whose path inevitably leads him out of the Church. I consider the book as now edited to be roughly PG-13 in terms of language and sexually explicit themes. (Those of you who read the manuscript may be interested to know that the language is slightly toned down from what you saw.)

At this point, I can’t say for sure when print copies of the book will be available, though we are shooting for sometime in October. Electronic (PDF) files should be available for review before that. I think that both Chris Bigelow (my publisher) and I are inclined to be fairly liberal in the matter of distributing electronic copies for review, so long as the reader can promise to (a) at least attempt to read the book with a possible interest in talking about it afterwards in some vaguely appropriate venue, and (b) not to copy or distribute the review copy. Print copies, alas, we will need to be more chary with, due to the fact that neither Chris nor I is swimming in money. So your chances of getting a review copy are better if you can settle for PDF – and you’ll be able to get it quicker too.

FYI, those who read and commented on part or all of the manuscript will eventually be receiving a complimentary print copy of the book (with the exception of one reader who preferred a PDF copy). However, if any of you who read the manuscript would like a PDF version earlier so that you can look at the book as it actually turned out and review and/or take part in discussions, please let me know.

Anyone who is interested in a review copy should email me, Jonathan Langford, at Jonathan At motleyvision DOT org, with:
– Your name
– Your qualifications to review
– The venue where you might review/discuss the book
– Whether you’re requesting a print or electronic copy

Please feel free to mention this to anyone you think might have an interest. I’d also welcome any suggestions for additional places to contact about lining up reviewers. Thanks!

4 comments: “Book Reviewers Wanted: Langford, No Going Back

  1. Jonathan Langford

    I should add that in the interests of getting a good discussion going, I’m mulling over the idea of providing a PDF copy to any of the regular AMV contributors who (a) think they might read it, and (b) would agree to comment on it once read. Thoughts?

  2. Jonathan Langford Post author

    Kent Larsen alerted me to the fact that what I wrote might sound like I’m trying to “hold reviewers hostage” to a promise to actually review the book. That wasn’t my intent. I’ve revised the wording above to try to reflect that. Basically, I just want to make sure that the copies are really “review” copies–that is, that they’re going places where there’s a potential (not a promise) of getting some public discussion afterward.

  3. Stephen Graham

    I am not one of your regular contributors, but I would be willing to take at look at your pdf file. I will say I approach the novel with skepticism. Reviews and comments I have read, while not revealing the ending, make me believe the book thinks it is ok to be gay and in the church, as long as one does not act out sexually. If that is the premise, I would have a problem with it. So, armed with that, you can decide whether to send me a pdf.

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