FROM BLUE TO BLACK by Joel Lane. Two star-crossed lovers who are also musicians in an up-and-coming band in early 90's Birmingham. Carl, the lead singer/guitarist, is a heartbreakingly complex character with a dark history. The author is a poet uses his amazing language skills to paint a portrait as bleak and hopeless as its backdrop - England's depressed, industrial North. Gorgeous and sad.
THE FIRST VERSE by Barry McCrea. If you can relate to the idea of being "seduced" by the written word, this book is mesmerizing. It's about a first year Beckett scholar at Trinity in Dublin who becomes involved with a cult whose members use random quotes, culled from random books to dictate every choice they make in life. It is literate, dense, complex and a bit surreal. Highly, highly recommended (by the way, the protagonist is gay, but his sexuality has nothing directly to do with the plot and all I can say is...it's about damned time).