It's ManBug Week here at the LBC, which means we'll have all species of posts popping up through the next few days. Today we'll try to get some discussion going, and Tuesday I'll post a Q&A with Arsenal Pulp publisher Brian Lam and another with the man who made ManBug, George Ilsley himself. George will, we hope, put up some of his own posts later in the week, as will various intrepid LBC members, and we'll wind things up with our now-traditional podcast interview.
I thought I'd start things off with some questions designed to get some discussion going in the comments. For those of you who read the book and enjoyed it, what kept you reading? What did you make of the characters and their situations? I've said I found the narrative voice fascinating; was this true for you?
If you'd rather talk about something else, here's a topic that is central to the book and that both George and Brian address, in different ways, in their Q&As: What is the value of labels? In ManBug, the characters try on various labels (Tom at one point calls himself a dyslexic bisexual Buddhist; Sebastian is identified as a gay entomologist with Asperger's), sometimes finding them useful, sometimes finding them constricting. Are we in a post-label world? What about the label of "gay fiction"? Are you, regardless of your own sexual identification, attracted or repelled by books that are marketed as such? Is it just a marketing category, or is it something more (or less)?