The Beauty of Men: A Novel

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9780688048570: The Beauty of Men: A Novel

Lark's mourning over the loss of his youth and of friends and acquaintances, his visits to his dying mother, and his actual and remembered visits to boat docks and baths comprise a narrative of loneliness, aging, and obsessive desire. By the author of Dancer from the Dance. Tour.

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Review:

Lake doesn't work and doesn't have friends, a job, or even a first name. All he really has is an abundance of memories of the unsatisfied life of a middle-aged gay man. "I've been a flop as a homosexual," says Lake. The book revolves around Lake's recollection of a time spent lost and hopeless and takes place in Gainesville, Florida, a place as unspectacular as his existence. In this examination of a life given to thinking about worry and lust, Andrew Holleran raises disturbing questions for people of every sexual preference.

From Publishers Weekly:

Lark, the protagonist of Holleran's profoundly sad, elegant and insightful new novel, his first since Nights in Aruba was published 13 years ago, is virtually unique in today's gay literature: he is a 47-year-old gay man, caring for his quadriplegic mother in a small town in Florida, whose sex life is confined to rest rooms and the baths, who has never come out to his family and whose increasingly empty existence is defined by agonizing loneliness. All the friends from Lark's long-ago glamorous youth in New York are dead of AIDS, and his mother's health has consumed his life as surely as HIV has destroyed the world of Holleran's Dancer from the Dance (1977), one of the classics of gay literature. Age and gray hair have rendered Lark invisible in the sexual competition that defined his life until AIDS, and his mother's impending death has forced him to see that his failure to come out has made him fundamentally invisible to her as well. But Lark, as retrograde and politically incorrect as his life in the closet may make him appear, is nevertheless a chillingly emblematic Everyman, failing to find meaning and purpose in a world devastated by AIDS. Holleran's trademark prose-lush, carefully cadenced and keenly observed-creates a mesmerizingly claustrophobic world where the trapped elderly residents of Lark's mother's nursing home, the lonely men Lark encounters in his fruitless search for love and the overwhelming anonymity of suburban America have equal power to break the heart. Author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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