Fri-gay the 13th

Look closer… it’s a book, not a movie. Sad times indeed.

Summer camp slashings ensue as they have many, many times before… but never (as far as I know) at one of those ‘Corrective’ camps for gay teens, though there were a few inĀ The Blood Season.

In Camp Carnage, Billy, an introverted suburbanite, is packed off to Camp Genesis by his parents after coming out to them in the summer of 1986. Run by Joan Ferguson-a-like Katherine Creevey, the boys are packed in together and mentored by a kindly priest and ex-gay counsellors.

Typical 80s hi-jinks follow with the usual heterosexual pairings reversed: Billy likes Neal, but so does Kyle. Jem likes Michaela, Michaela strives to remain straight etc… Meanwhile, those who venture into the woods (stray from the path of heterosexuality, as it were) soon meet nasty ends at the hands of a mystery killer.

A fluid read, I zipped through Camp Carnage over a few lunch breaks and, while the blades n’ whodunit subplotting was decent, the book shied away from commenting overtly on the operations of such an establishment, thus I didn’t root for the characters as much as I wanted.

Writers Cross and Winning twist the expected outcome in regards to the last ones standing, which is always brave, although in this case I’d have preferred them not to.

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