A witty and delightful romance of book meets book and boy finds boy...


Gay Debut Fiction
Lambda Literary Awards


2011 TLA GAYBIE nomination! 

Best Fiction

2011 Gaylactic Spectrum Award:

Short List for Best Novel

ISBN: 978-0-9844707-1-6

Bob the Book

a novel by David Pratt

“So what is a gay book?”—“A book attracted to books of the same gender!”

Meet Bob the Book, a gay book for sale in a Greenwich Village bookstore, where he falls in love with another book, Moishe. But an unlikely customer separates the young lovers. As Bob wends his way through used book bins, paper bags, knapsacks, and lecture halls, hoping to be reunited with Moishe, he meets a variety of characters, both book and human, including Angela, a widowed copy of Jane Austen's Mansfield Park, and two other separated lovers, Neil and Jerry, near victims of a book burning. Among their owners are Alfred and Duane, whose on-again, off-again relationship unites and separates our book friends.

Will Bob find Moishe?
Will Jerry and Neil be reunited?
Will Alfred and Duane make it work?

Read Bob the Book to find all the answers...


“Brilliant. Pratt delivers with a flawless voice, three-dimensional characterization and genuine pathos. Bob the Book may just be the best thing I’ve read all year.”

—Jerry Wheeler, Out in Print

About the author



David Pratt has published short fiction in Christopher Street, The James White Review, Blithe House Quarterly, Harrington Gay Men's Fiction Quarterly, Velvet Mafia, Lodestar Quarterly, and other periodicals, and in the anthologies Men Seeking Men, His3 and Fresh Men 2. He has directed and performed his own work for the theater, including appearances in New York City at the Cornelia Street Café, Dixon Place, HERE Arts Center, the Flea Theater, Theater of the Elephant, and the Eighth Annual New York International Fringe Festival. He has collaborated frequently with Rogério M. Pinto, and he was the first director of several plays by the Canadian playwright John Mighton. David holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the New School. Bob the Book is the second novel he has written, and it is the first to be published. He is currently at work on the book of a new musical.


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Watch Bob the Book on You Tube.
David Pratt reading from the novel.

Introduction and Chapter One

Chapter Three

Video by Donna Wasserman.


Praise for Bob The Book

“This is a book for people who love books — for those who see them as something more than mere entertainment, who love and appreciate and are amused by the whole process of writing and publishing books and the industry that supports them. If that person is you, this book is is sure to make you laugh and is highly recommended.”

—Brent Hartinger, After Elton (Read the full review here.)

"This charming novel, recounted by Pratt with seamless insight into the inner lives of books, is told almost entirely by Bob and the books around him—a seductive and eloquent literary accomplishment that, at last, answers the question: What is a gay book?"

—Richard Labonté, Bookmarks

“David Pratt takes a classic device from children's literature, the humanized object, and uses it not for a tugboat or lighthouse or velveteen rabbit but for a book on gay erotica. His voice is pitch-perfect as he follows his hero out into the world, creating a picaresque epic about books and bookstores, readers and collectors, conferences and bonfires. There's even a love story. Bob the Book is smart, funny, learned and, like the best bibliophiles, just a little crazy.”

—Christopher Bram, author of Mapping the Territory and Father of Frankenstein

"A rare and extraordinary accomplishment. The novel’s basic conceit is that each edition of a book has its own personality and name. Bob the Book makes a perfect gift--not only to yourself but to friends who love books."

—Wayne Gunn, Lambda Literary

“You know how favorite books talk to your soul? Well Bob the Book is the story of what they say when you’ve left the room. This is a certifiable read-in-one-sitting book. And after you’ve talked it up, you’d rather buy another copy for that discerning friend then lend your own—parting with this book would be like turning off a necessary light.”

—Tom Cardamone, editor of The Lost Library: Gay Fiction Rediscovered

"Charming is the perfect description of Bob the Book, because it charmed me, and is charming. I didn't expect to like the concept of a world of living books, but I was entirely won over. A deeply charming book. as we travel with Bob from hand to hand is a gorgeous, at times acidly wicked, blend of biting satire, social and historical commentary from a literary and GLBT perspective, but all done in such a wonderful way that you can't help but be won over. Pratt shines light on the snobbishness, the silliness and the wonderful idiocy of parts of the literary world, and pokes fun at it one one page, then--as the best books should--break your heart on another page. If you can escape into the world of Toy Story and if you are a reader or a writer—or both—you will find something in this book to laugh at, cry at, love. Bob and his friends will stay with you for a long, long time."

—Erastes, TLA Gay

“A bravura performance. David Pratt plays over the contemporary gay lit and psychology scene like Horowitz at a Steinway. His small gem of an idea goes way beyond allegory or even charm into a humorous yet serious look at what it is that men really want out of a relationship and what they are actually prepared to do to get it.”

—Felice Picano, author of Art and Sex in Greenwich Village and Like People in History

"This is Pratt's first novel, and he immediately merits an extra star for what is - by far - the most creatively original idea for a novel I have ever read. It's written to be best appreciated more by an avid reader, who can get the subtle and witty characterizations of the other books they encounter, who take on a personality suited to their subject and origin (including a homophobic, religious book, whose name is Fred). You'll smile at what your books may be saying about you, behind your back, and apologize if you drop one on the floor."

—Bob Lind, Echo

“Funny, poignant, lovable, and a great read! All walks of life, gay or straight, will instantly connect with Bob and the story he tells.”

—Maurice Michaane, Queer New York

“If you treasure your books and think they might just have a life of their own, or that they just might be able to talk to you, you will love this book.”

—Amy McKie, Amy Reads

Bob the Book takes the reader through a roller coaster of emotions—hope, love, triumph, despair, loss, break-ups, and true love. This is a valuable addition to any fiction collection, from young adult and up, as its perspective on life is new and fresh, and also provides an excellent example of personification of a non-living object.”
—Sara Rofosky Marcus, ALA GLBTRT Newsletter

If you have ever loved a book so much that you read it until it fell apart, I think you will love Bob the Book. And even if you are not that emotional, I think you will still find this a satisfying, fun, and very entertaining story. Highly recommended.”

—Leslie, Reviews by Jessewave.com

“The writing is often sly, humorous, incredibly witty, and keeps a good solid pace. I’m sure you’ll find them just as charming and engaging as I did.”

—Kassa, Three Dollar Bill Reviews

“I picked out this book because of its great word-of-mouth reputation, and it exceeded my hopes for something fresh, different, and fun in our gay romance genre. The overall tone of the story is poignant and earnest rather than satirical, which creates an irresistible bond between reader and characters, whose stories are told from several alternating third-person viewpoints. Trust me, you will want these endearing characters, the books and the gay men, to find happiness and true love. Bob the Book is not to be missed!”

Val, AReCafe

“This is one of the most delightful stores I’ve read all year, and the fact that it is a debut novel only adds to the pleasure. On the surface it seems like a whimsical love story, both for Bob and his human owner, as well as several other book couples. But under that simplicity, there are some important life lessons to be examined. There is much Zen-like wisdom woven into this enchanting tale, lessons on taking one’s self too seriously, and of striving for things that are not important, just to name a few. Readers who are familiar with the publishing industry will especially appreciate this novel, but all readers can enjoy this wonderfully smart and touching book. Because the main characters are books, it transcends every boundary of gender and sexual orientation, making it an entertaining read for men and women, boys and girls, gay and straight. That’s its genius.”

Alan Chin, Examiner.com

"A touching, charming, memorable tale. Unlike any book that I’ve ever read before, and I enjoyed it immensely. Both serious and playful, this book will make you think, touch your heart, and stay with you for a long time to come."


Read an interview with David Pratt by Alan Chin

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