Gerard James Borg’s saucy bedroom parables certainly fill a gap in the book market

The Skinny | No 9. Gerard James Borg

What are we skinning? The literary output of Gerard James Borg, author of Sleazeungsroman classics such as Bormla Babes, Madliena Married Men and Sliema Wives.  

Why are we skinning it? Because he’s just released another luridly local creation onto the kinda-suspecting micro-universe that is Malta: the irresistibly titled ‘Tigne Point Bachelors’.

Is Gerard James Borg really worth a second – nay, a first – thought as a writer? Shouldn’t we give more credence to weightier literary heavyweights? It’s true that, given how the Malta Book Festival has just concluded, book-lovers should theoretically have stackloads of tomes to see to...

Yes, so why is Tigné Point Bachelors suddenly the point of discussion? Let’s be blunt and brutal: no other Maltese book is exactly grabbing the headlines, is it?

Fair enough but I mean, the tagline for his latest volume runs ‘The bedroom is their turf, and they are here to play’. How much of this tackiness can a person possibly stand before the irony thermometer goes through the roof? Yes, but it also claims to be ‘inspired by true events’...

Oh, so you think this is a serious documentary examination of the morally bankrupt and promiscuous Maltese upper-middle class? No, and neither am I suggesting that it’s some kind of American Psycho-style phantasmagoric satire. But the claim towards factual inspiration positions Gerard James Borg in an interesting position vis-a-vis Maltese publishing.

How so? In his own crude and – yes – tacky way, he has managed to elevate the lurid goings on of the local elite into populist entertainment, and in the case of Bormla Babes, the lens also shifts to Eurovision hopefuls from a decidedly opposing side of the local class spectrum.

But if it’s written as trashy entertainment, what value could that ‘observational’ angle possibly have? What we consume as trash says a lot about us as a culture. If the goings on of the Tigne Bachelors and Bormla Babes are what give us that collective jolt of amusement and naughty, gossipy pleasure, then we know there’s a lot in there that bears investigating.

So you’re saying it’s more of anthropological than literary value. Maybe. But for now, I’m just really dying to know how this philandering murder mystery ends up. Or at least, I wish I could – tried to get my hands on a copy at book festival but it seems to have run out.

Do say: “Gerard James Borg’s saucy bedroom parables may not be to everyone’s taste, but they certainly fill a gap within the local book market, and definitively prove that English-speaking and cultural sophistication do not automatically go hand in hand”

Don’t say: “Did we abolish censorship for THIS?!”

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