Some of the reviews here made me hesitate, but I thought I'd give the book a try. I am so glad I did. I am now on my second listen, just to savor it again.
Ms. Glass has written some of the most original and apt metaphors that get at the true meaning of an experience. For example, she describes a character's (Fenno's) feeling when he finally discovers that he has been making a long-term mistake in having a relationship with someone (Tony): she describes him as having been drinking water for so long only to learn, late, that it was really just saltwater. Another metaphor describes the "epileptic" flashes of TV light seen from outside a window. Those are metaphors that make me say "yes, yes! that's true!"
The people who won't like this book are probably 2 types: a) they just don't normally relate to gay men, and don't want to (one gay man's complicated friend/family/love life is the central "middle" story here); and b) they don't want to have to do the mental work of paying attention to which time period the story currently is situated in. It is a bit hard at times, but I didn't find it too complicated; there are always enough clues. The book works better this way, too: by taking you into the future just a bit, you can pre-appreciate the impact of the past even before you have fully experienced the past.
Let me just say, too, that this may be the first "gay men in NY during the AIDS crisis" story that I have "read" in which I truly, truly cared for the characters and felt myself moved to tears.
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