The Giddy Death of the Gays & the Strange Demise of Straights

(Lethe Press, June 2015)

  • Nominated for a Lambda Literary Award

  • Finalist for the Bisexual Book Awards

“My boyfriend told me he’s in love with a man. A weird, geeky, supposedly-also-straight man. I suppose you’re going to tell me that doesn’t make him gay? That I should stay with him, in some weird little totally-heterosexual trio?”

Caroline and Dom live out their normal lives among the poverty, alcoholics, and street preachers of Swansea. But when Dom and his straight roommate fall in love – a passionate, secret, non-sexual love – their lives are transformed into a queer chaos of cross-dressing, gender bending and free love. Will Dom hold on to his relationship? Can religious fundamentalists be adopted as pets? And just what are The Lesbians up to? The battle between preachers and drag queens, skinheads and sex workers, boyfriend and girlfriend, is set to change the city forever.

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Lethe Press


‘It is truly impossible to describe this book in a way that does it justice; just download it immediately.’
Paste Magazine

‘An oddball and one-of-a-kind romantic comedy’
Lambda Literary

‘Love conquers all, especially such trivial things as monogamy and sexual orientation, in this polyamorous romance…a sprightlier comedy of modern manners.’
– Kirkus Reviews

‘Set in Swansea, Wales, The Giddy Death of the Gays & the Strange Demise of Straights is an engaging and thought-provoking read. It’s a story about breaking free of restrictions — relationship conventions, geographical place, traditional gender identity.’
– Out in Print

‘Redfern Jon Barrett’s second novel is a fantastic ride through the lives of these Swansea residents…. The Giddy Death of the Gays and the Strange Demise of Straights is recommended to any library that collects popular fiction.’
– American Library Association

‘Each character takes centrestage and becomes the protagonist, not only in their designated first person sections, but throughout. It takes real skill to make this reader identify with a straight woman, a straight man, a drag queen, a lesbian, and their fluctuating identities, all sometimes within a single chapter. Most importantly, it made me examine my own identities and question the strictures that I have built around them.

‘There is a basic story that is so simple, yet so magnificent in impact… Do check it out!’
– GA Bixler Reviews

‘The Giddy Death of the Gays and Strange Demise of Straights should be mandatory reading’

‘If you are at all open to have your pre-existing ideas and concepts questioned I highly recommend it – if nothing else, you might just fall in love with Barrett’s way with words.’
Rebekka Steg, writer

‘… one of the wittiest and most thought-provoking novels I’ve ever read.’
– Rising Shadow


Forget Yourself

(Lethe Press, January 2016)

It is important that you know: I love you.
Of course I have no idea who you are.
But I have no real idea who I am either, so it seems fair to me.

Blondee lives in a world without memories: just four walls, fifty huts and a hundred forgotten people. She came in with the food rations. Mind and body naked, like everyone. Now she lives in a triangular hut at the edge of everything. They say she was a thief — she has long fingers — and she certainly has a reputation for taking multiple lovers. But haunted by the ghost of a fat man and dreaming of a stone woman, Blondee knows she can reshape the world — she just needs to get the world to listen…

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Lethe Press


‘It’s speculative science-fiction unlike any I’ve read before … it also left me thinking in a way that very few dystopian novels ever have.’
The Lesbrary

‘I was immediately drawn in to the story… It unwrote bits of my brain, letting me put myself into the gaps it left… In summary: read it.’
– Poly in Pictures

‘One of those books whose concepts stood out head and shoulders above the crowd.’
– Sweat, Tears, and Digital Ink

‘Barrett’s writing is descriptive and often poetic, rendering characters and setting so vividly that I become immersed in Blondee’s world.’ Ancient Children

‘Barrett beautifully describes society … a turn at every corner.’
Amy Shiner, writer

‘… a fascinating look into a dystopian future … greatly recommend it.’
Rebekka Steg, writer

‘Barrett does an amazing job in transporting the reader directly to this wasteland and engages all senses.’
– The Eclectic Bookworm

‘… exciting, fascinating, extremely chilling and startling…’
 GA Bixler Reviews

‘It’s a fascinating, touching, heart-breaking and thought-provoking story…’
– Rising Shadow