Review Time! Camp Damascus, by Chuck Tingle

Love is Real, Buckaroos!

I was so looking forward to Camp Damascus (Germane Amazon Link!) — the preorder was my only Cyber Monday purchase in 2022. And it did not disappoint.

As an ace person, it took me a while to get into the Tingleverse. I mean, niche gay erotica? Not the first thing you’d expect for an ace person. Particularly the niche in question — dinosaurs, cryptids, living inanimate objects and so on are the love interests in Dr. Tingle’s books.

Then I started following him on Facebook and discovered what a delightfully positive place the Tingleverse is. And then I discovered the “no-pound Tingler,” which is what Dr. Tingle calls the no-erotica books he writes and also his “Choose-Your-Own-Timeline” series which are also “no-pound.”

Just for a sample of a “No-Pound Tingler,” see Not Pounded By The Physical Manifestation Of My Own Screenwriting Because I’m On Strike And I Deserve To Be Fairly Compensated For My Labor While Studio Ceos Take Record Salaries, which is a fundraiser for the Entertainment Community Fund.

The Entertainment Community Fund exists to provide a safety net for creators in the entertainment industry (writers, actors, directors, etc.) during periods like the (as of August 2, 2023) current actors’ and writers’ strikes.

Now that I knew just what kind of awesome person Dr. Tingle is, I was eager to support their first professionally published book.

And I really loved the book.

The Camp Damascus of the title is a ex-gay conversion camp with a reputed 100% success rate. Now we hit the snag that has had me frozen on “And I really loved the book” all day.

I don’t want to spoil the plot, like, at all. Well, I guess I can talk about the protagonist a bit. Rose Darling is somewhere on the autism spectrum. This leads her to new places in plot and character development where more neurotypical characters might not have gone.

It was also a very fast read. I read almost the entire thing in the first night I had it. I ended up putting it up for the night because of my new adventures in sleep consistency. If I’d finished the book I would’ve missed my bedtime entirely.

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