Blog tour: Last Dance at the Discotheque for Deviants

Welcome to the blog tour for Last Dance at the Discotheque for Deviants by Paul David Gould!

More about the book…

Moscow, 1993.

The end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union have brought unimaginable change to Russia.

With this change come new freedoms: freedom to travel abroad and to befriend Westerners, freedom to make money, and even the freedom for an underground gay scene to take root.

Encouraged by the new climate of openness, twenty-one-year-old Kostya ventures out of the closet and resolves to pursue his dreams: to work in the theatre and to find love as his idol Tchaikovsky never could.

Those dreams, however, lead to tragedy – not only for Kostya, but for his mother and for the two young men he loves, as all three face up to the ways they have betrayed him.

More about the author…

Paul David Gould grew up on a Huddersfield council estate and studied Russian at the University of Birmingham.

His experiences of work, life and love in Russia have inspired Last Dance at the Discotheque for Deviants, his first novel.

He works as a sub- editor at the Financial Times.

Paul worked as a journalist in Russia in the early nineties, and his experiences from that time have informed his debut novel, while he still occasionally writes about Russia for the Financial Times.

Last Dance At The Discotheque For Deviants is one of the first titles in Unbound's new imprint: Unbound Firsts - for debut writers of colour. Gould said:

‘I’m not only thrilled to be getting published by Unbound Firsts, I’m also honoured to be one of this new imprint’s inaugural writers at a time when we so need to champion diversity. My novel is set in Russia in the 1990s, a more hopeful time for peace and friendly relations with the West, I’m horrified to see those hopes trampled on by Putin’s unprovoked and brutal war against Ukraine.’

My impressions…

Why is writing about a book you have loved always so difficult? And I have not only loved this book… I’ve had my heart beautifully broken by it too.

The story is told through multiple viewpoints and the events alternate between 1993 – when Jamie and Dima find out that their friend Kostya has died – and the preceding three years. This is executed in such a way that I was always left wanting to know more.

Now… with Russia not being the most gay-friendly country I could think of (trying not to sound too hurt or angry here), this was always going to be a book that touched a nerve. And it did, over and over again. Even though I wanted to know how Kostya died, this is not the kind of murder mystery or thriller that I’m used to. It’s an exploration of society, of human nature and so much more.

I truly urge you to read this stunning novel. And, whether you’re a member or an ally of the LGBTQIA+, let’s remember that there is still a long way to go until we reach equality.  

Three words to describe it. Intriguing. Powerful. Heart-breaking.

Do I like the cover? I love it!

Have I read any other books by the same author? This is his debut novel and I’m already hoping for more!


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