A review by alexampersand
Times Square Red, Times Square Blue by Samuel R. Delany


The first half of the book (Times Square Blue) I really loved; it was pretty shocking with how open it was at times, but Samuel Delaney's writing really shine through, and the relationships between all of the various people felt so real and human.

The second half (Times Square Red) I struggled with a little more. It's been a while since I read academic literature, but I also felt like at times the form felt a little confused - it would bounce around between complex sociological and psychological concepts, and then talk about very plain-language anecdotes or metaphor. And occasionally the ideas would bounce around on tangents in a way that I sometimes found hard to follow. So I'm not sure how much my criticism is a criticism of the writing itself, and how much was me simply struggling with the form. 

But it was interesting to read something that at times taught me things, and at times made me question things I think or believe. I really enjoyed his take that the people relying entirely on casual sex at the theatres weren't "avoiding" relationships, but that they were forming relationships of a different sort. Although I don't think I agree that by shutting down porn cinemas we are regressing to a "pre-Stonewall" era of equality...