• Clubbed

  • A Story of Gay Love: Trials, Tribulations, and Triumphs
  • By: Robert Karl
  • Narrated by: Curtis Michael Holland
  • Length: 8 hrs
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Sex. Drugs. Lust. Courage. Loyalty. Betrayal. Drag divas. Hustlers. Porn. Gogo boys. Anything is possible at the gay club scene. Even love.

Joey, fresh from the suburbs, gets involved in the gay club scene in Philadelphia during the late 1970s and early 1980s. He shares the stories of a diverse cast of characters, including his own special love story. Everyone at the club has a story, and every story deserves to be told.

©2021 Robert A Karl (P)2022 Robert A Karl
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: LGBTQ+

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautifully told story...loved it!!

Clubbed A Gay Love Story
Trial, Tribulations, and Triumph
By Robert A Karl
Narrated by Curtis Michael

5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐'s
Highly Recommend

Ok..Firstly I'm going to say this right up front...my review is not going to do this book justice. I'm a simple person with a simple voice and I feel like I'm incapable of expressing my thoughts clearly...BUT...I know what I like and I know what's good and this book is both.

I listened to this book on audio and I'm so happy that I did because the way the author wrote this book is like your being told the story. Listening to Curtis Michael narrate the story felt like I just sat down with my bestie (that I hadn't seen in forever) and she/he was telling me all the neighborhood gossip/news and I was completely captivated by all the different people (coming and going), the sex, the drugs, the good and bad of every day life at and around Club Sanctuary. The main characters Joey (who is telling the story) and Henry fit perfectly together and are an intricate part in the Gayborhood. Not only do they have their gay bar/club that provides a safe place to other gay people in their community but they also try to help other businesses/people to make their way as well. There is just so many emotions you go through listening to the different people's stories. There is this one part (I have to mention) about Ruby and Rosetta 😭...I'm not gonna say what but that was seriously heartbreaking 😭😭😭!!

Needless to say I'm excited to start book two. I'm hoping for the audio soon so I can listen along with the book.

Ps: There are so many amazing reviews for this book...way better than mine...go read them and give this book/ series a try...you'll happy that you did!!

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Great story , well told

A great read , well worth it . Narration was solid. Would recommend without hesitation. Would read again, or another work by this author

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Interesting and kept me listening intently.

Clubbed was a story that read much more like an autobiography to me but I mean that as a compliment. The story seemed very real even though some of it also seemed a bit implausible. I enjoyed Curtis Michael’s performance of the story. He read it in a fairly matter-of-fact way but that felt perfect this book.

As a straight, white woman I can only imagine the horrors that the gay community went through during the time period of this story but I feel like this book, even though it’s fiction, gave me at least a little better understanding.

My only minor complaint is that I felt like the book ended a bit abruptly when listening to it so I went to the ebook and read over the last bit again and for some reason it no longer felt that way to me.

I appreciate that I was given the opportunity to listen to a review copy of this audiobook which was given to me by the author at my request. My review was voluntary and not influenced by the author and/or narrator.

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Interesting short stories

Disclaimer: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. An interesting book, written in the very interesting, almost detached, observational way, as he delve into the different stories and difficulties the different characters faced. I personally would have preferred a little more character development of the main characters, as it feels a little floaty, the way some of the stories are neither tied to the main character or the club, and it feels like the story just walked into the wrong place. Narration by Curtis Michael is great. He portrayed the characters very well.

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An Important Breathtaking Read

This story is absolutely chilling—in the most amazing way. Even though it’s fiction, it reads as a real account of the events prior to the AIDS pandemic and leading up to, an era, which has always haunted my heart even though I was a newborn at the beginning of it. The author experienced that time and so we read a unique telling of the unfolding of events, filling in the missing pieces of history by way of the humans it affected. You are there. You love them. You break with them.

To transport back to this era and get a genuine grasp of the AIDS pandemic, it’s important to have some idea of the socio-political climate at this time in history before delving into the health crisis aspect and Robert does this exceedingly well.

Joey is our MC. He introduces us to many other characters with rich stories that anchor within you as you hear their struggles. At the same time is Joey’s love story. First, he needs to figure out what it means to him to love men despite the environment of the time that seemed to say something contrary to what he felt.

Plus, the writing style. This is one of the most extraordinary writing styles I’ve read. We’re not just viewing the world form Joey’s lens; we experience his unabridged thoughts and emotions as he does. We share his exploration through the murky waters of sexuality, gender, and love. The confusion. The unfairness. The turmoil. But also, the exhilaration of finding bliss, living authentically, and seizing the life you want.

Together, Joey and Henry inspire the people in their lives and Henry inspires Joey. Henry is an exquisite character that is so pivotal I feel that if I talk too much about him, I will spoil the story for you. Instead, I will just say that he’s my favorite and I know everyone will love him too. He’s wise and funny and just so good that his aura lifts you (the reader) as much as he does Joey through the book.

There were two places in particular where I cried hard, like, ugly crying. And I was baking chocolate chip cookies at the time (I was listening to the audiobook) so I stood in my kitchen bawling in my oven mitts—thanks for that, Mr. Karl!

It’s the most beautiful story with a take-your-breath-away set up for the second book: Clubbed 2.

I read this book twice. Once in the paperback form (I knew I was going to want a hardcopy of this one and I was right) and then I listened to the audiobook. I enjoyed both times through but listening to Curtis Michael tell me the story in his smooth voice is hard to beat so I’m gonna have to recommend that option. That man is an unbelievable talent, and those talents are a gorgeous pairing to this incredible tale. He brought the characters to life in a new way, giving each a distinct voice with crystal-clear melody.

The book is so important, and I hope everyone will read it. I am grateful that Robert took the time to write this story and that he’s going to share more with us. This is something you want on your shelf or in your audiobook library (or if you’re me, both!)

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a must listen

I've been excited for this book to come out in audio format for a while, and it was so much more than I could have imagined. The snapshots of people's lives over time were so heartfelt and real, and they create a such a vivid picture of life in the community at that time. If this is a standalone piece, it's excellent as is. But I also hope there's a sequel that captures what the next 5-10 years are like through the eyes of different people.

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LOVED IT!

I absolutely loved it! This book caught my attention from the very beginning and held it throughout the entire book. The narration was excellent. It will keep you entertained! This book has romance but mainly focuses on the lifestyle of a pre-AIDS community. The author did an excellent job with the character builds and plot! I look forward to reading more books from this author! I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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Engaging Story Professionally Narrated

Having already enjoyed reading this book, I wanted to read it a second time, so the audible version seemed like a good idea since I am old school and have never listened to a book before. The narrator, Curtis Michael, is a good story teller and his pleasant speaking voice enhanced the story.
This is an interesting tale revolving around the owner of a gay discotheque in Philidelphia during the late 70's and early 80's. Not only does the author describe the details of his life but also delves into the lives of the various employees and patrons of his disco. The many stories range from amusing to heartbreaking. Having lived through this time myself, I found the depiction of the characters and their stories so true to life as it was then, that I find it difficult to believe this to be a work of fiction!
I recommend this to anyone who enjoys stories of gay love, romance, friendship and GLBTQ+ history.