Book Review: The Last Ones By Justin Luke Zirilli


Into every new club, a new generation is born, one who will fill it with laughter and tears and drama and sex and pretension and life.

The Last Ones is the story of the last night of Club Legion, one of those gay clubs that has meant the world to so many, that has BEEN the world to so many. In these pages are the lives not only of the people whose stories we get to glimpse so briefly but also the stories of all the gays we’ve known in all the clubs we’ve loved and lost.

Legion is the kind of club where everybody knows your name, but only if you want them too. It is just as easy to remain anonymous, one of the many, a part apart.

As always, Zirilli’s prose is tight and vivid. They say a picture is worth a thousand words but here, Zirilli’s words conjure up a thousand pictures, of gay boys young and old, of drag queens washed up and fabulous, of fags hags fat and forgotten. Here, you see the faces of the people you’ve parties with. Here, you see the faces of the people you never saw.

You have the story of a man who ODs and dies; you have the story of a man who comes out and lives. You have a relationship ending, and you look back into their past; you have a relationship starting, and you see ahead into their future. A bartender. A manager. A promoter. A twink. A hag. A stranger. They dance on these pages as surely as they danced in Legion. We visit each one only briefly, and then, like on any packed dance floor, there is someone new to captivate us, someone better.

For those of you who have read other Zirilli works, you can’t help but wonder if Gulliver and the boys are here, this last night of Legion. Is the shirtless boy with the tattoo Chase? Did Todd help fill this room?

Perhaps it was in Franky’s story I found the most heart, with his metaphor of the Titanic, for the loss of these clubs, of each and every club, is the sinking of dreams, as tragically beautiful as so many nights were beautifully tragic.

This review is dedicated to all the Last Ones in all the clubs we have lost along the way (and they are Legion)

Submitted By: Rob B. Follow him on Twitter @robbrowatzke

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  • Luvstoread

    I’ve missed your reviews. 🙂

  • Rob

    🙂 I will try to do more! Always good knowing there’s a fan!