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The Object of My Affection

McCauley, Stephen

1,384 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1862077118 / ISBN 13: 9781862077119
Published by Washington Square/ Pocket, New York/ London, 1987
Used Condition: Very Good Soft cover
From Gil's Book Loft (Binghamton, NY, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

ISBN: 0-671-64994-9. Has been read. very good, trade paper, pict. pale blue covers. Clean, tight 316 pgs. Bookseller Inventory # 035062

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Object of My Affection

Publisher: Washington Square/ Pocket, New York/ London

Publication Date: 1987

Binding: Soft cover

Book Condition:Very Good

Edition: 08/88 1st thus

About this title

Synopsis:

When twenty-six year old George Mullen is kicked out by his lover, Robert, he moves into the terminally disordered apartment of Nina Borowski, and embarks on the most complicated friendship of his life. At first their relationship is as easy as their cosy television suppers and ballroom dancing classes, with Nina mulling over her psychology dissertation and George teaching kindergarten. Then Nina announces she's pregnant by her boyfriend, Howard. Howard wants marriage. Nina wants independence. And George will do almost anything for a little unqualified affection. But he's not so sure about his new role as surrogate unwed father...

Review:

It's no mistake that Stephen McCauley's The Object of My Affection ends at a carnival, for the book is, shockingly enough, not about ballroom dancing or Jennifer Aniston's hair, but rather a funny, bittersweet rumination on the thrill rides we endure and the trick mirrors through which we peer, all in the name of relationships.

George is a gay kindergarten teacher, holding a torch of the inextinguishable variety for his not-worth-it ex-boyfriend. Nina is a pregnant "almost-psychologist" feminist with a nail-polish obsession and an overbearing boyfriend. The focus of the novel is certainly on the relationship between these two, but McCauley also brings an entire fictional ensemble to life, richly nuanced with quirky humor. After a night utterly devoid of sleep, romance, or even physical comfort on a stranger's futon, George decides to cut his losses and leave in the middle of the night, silently wondering about his generation's aversion to mattresses: "I've never trusted people who feel compelled to replace them with uncomfortable, expensive substitutes." As he leaves, his blind date caps off the evening with some unsolicited dietary advice, advising him that he should really cut down on dairy. "Thanks," George deadpans. "I've been meaning to eliminate it from my diet. This should give me the extra push."

The Object of My Affection gets you to care about this screwed-up lot of characters as they attempt to force the square peg of life-as-it-is-wished into the round hole of life-as-it-is. It offers no pat resolutions but rather an overall sense of hope, made all the more believable by the fact that the author has not frantically tried to tie up every single loose end. Instead, George, Nina, and those who touch them manage to push off from their unreasonably idealistic visions of the future and anchor, albeit tenuously, to the blessings of the present, resolved to remain standing amidst the forces that move them, as McCauley writes, "as inevitable as death and much stronger than love." --Bob Michaels

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