Alternate (Starsky & Hutch story)
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It has a sequel called The Other End of the Line.
Reactions and Reviews
The best work in the zine is that done by Pam Rose. ‘Alternate’ has been printed elsewhere, but it is worth rereading. Contrasting Hutch’s attempt to cope with his unrequited love for Starsky with the hustler’s necessity to trick in order to keep himself and his lover alive delineates the deep and understated sorrow of both men for a can-never-be alternative. It is a Ghood Story, the finest in the zine.
‘Alternate’ is easily the best story in the zine. Technically, head and shoulders above the rest of the stories in this collection, it is a poignant and too-believable story about Hutch and a hustler. One suspects that [the author] possesses a powerful, if erratic and untrained, talent. I would like to see more of her work, preferable edited by a good, competent editor.
‘Alternate’ was an interesting turnabout story, with the character of the hustler well-drawn. But the concept of the prickly, ‘don’t touch me,’ fastidious Hutch looking for that kind of release didn’t ring quite true to me.
Outside characters' points of view can give us a fresh and intriguing take on the guys. In this case, we know so much more than the hustler who is servicing Hutch that every word and gesture has additional significance to our eyes. And then there's the blow job in the phone booth that makes it all worthwhile. I'm also rec'ing the sequel, because you just know the story can't end there. Deeply wistful and painful and hot.
Oh, I have always adored Alternate! I must go and read that again; thank you so much for mentioning it. I have it in my mind as one of those 'perfect' stories. Every word just right... The sequel didn't work quite so well for me, but hey, each to their own. :-)