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Publisher's Summary

The mid-'70s: at an all-boys Catholic school in Melbourne, Timothy Conigrave falls wildly and sweetly in love with the captain of the football team. So begins a relationship that weathers disapproval, separation and ultimately death.

With honesty and insight, Holding the Man explores the highs and lows of any partnership and the strength of heart both men have to find when they test positive for HIV. This is a book as refreshing and uplifting as it is moving - a funny and sad and celebratory account of growing up gay.

©2009 Timothy Conigrave (P)2016 Audible, Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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An Beautiful Love Story!

This is the only book the ever made me cry. A wonderful memoir of two people at the dawning of a new world and the harsh realities of opposition they faced. A true inspirational life long love story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Ijeoma
  • Brooklyn, New York
  • 02-08-18

An Informative and Interesting Book

I would give this audiobook 5 stars, but Tim cheated on John so many times. In fact, it makes me question how much he loved him because it doesn’t make sense to cheat on someone you love. He didn’t always want to take care of him when he (John) was sick and he wanted to sleep on their couch instead of their bed because John coughed excessively. I don’t think this is fair. Tim judged people for having AIDS and he doesn’t see anything wrong with Nestle’s history in Africa and thinks his friend Ian is overreacting when he decides to boycott Nescafé. Aside from these things, it’s interesting, informative, honest, funny, moving, and romantic. This book showed me the importance of educating myself about AIDS and having safe sex. Tim brought boyish adolescence to life and as someone who isn’t Catholic, I enjoyed listening to how they practice their religion. This audiobook is filled with lots of passion between John and Tim, which makes it more upsetting that Tim would have as many affairs as he did. Maybe I have trouble understanding the affairs because I’m not a gay man, but saying this would mean that every gay man is promiscuous and this is not true. Last, but not least, the narrator (Stephen Phillips) is exceptionally good. He is Australian. I hope he narrates more books. He really did a wonderful job!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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The most beautiful love story

I first saw the movie and was so moved that I wanted more of the intimate story of John & Tim.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Beautiful, heart-wrenching

Beautiful, heart-wrenching, candid, true. So glad Tim was able to finish this before he passed. The movie was wonderful, one of my lifetime favourites now, but it's better to read/hear the details of what was going on in Tim's mind. This story will linger in your mind.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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One of the most real and honest books I've read!

Tim and John's story is beautifully crafted. I was captivated by the narrative and transported to my own experience as a boy at so many places in the story. A tragic yet magical ending. I wish I had had the opportunity to know Tim and John, but thanks, Tim, for sharing so transparently your harsh yet beautiful experience. It is one I will definitely re-read. I saw the movie first and was pleased to find the book on Audible.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ag
  • 08-06-16

I love this story, the way it was told.

There's a type of rawness to it and very heartfelt. The ending was powerful and let me wondering about Tim.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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absolutely incredible

narrator is absolutely amazing and this is my absolute favorite book. very happy and defiantly recommend

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in my feelings

extremely touching extremely sad unconditional love between two men extremely young very emotional very sad I'm still crying to this day. this kind of love that they had between each other most people never experience in their life. I will not be the judge of the lifestyle they lived, I believe with all my heart God makes no mistakes. Tim seem to be a very Gifted Man and John he had this unconditional love, most of us will never experience this In Our Lifetime. I will admit I'm disappointed in the movie because it show Tim as a totally different person and Tim had feelings the book was just different than the movie, Tim story was real the Hollywood movie is just an ordinary Hollywood movie. I hope everyone reads this book and don't judge who are we to judge we are not God we are not their creator.

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A beautiful book, sad but heartwarming.

It is hard to explain how I feel after listening to this book. Definitely sad, but it is about the life of two men who fell in love in school, Catholic school, when love between two men was not accepted, and it brought forth emotions in me for the unfairness of life for those people who have had to endure growing up in a society where they were ostracized. It is now 2017 and Australia still does not allow gay marriage. Such a disgrace. This book was quite wonderful, written so well. I am Australian but have lived in the U.S. for almost 50 years. Hearing Tim’s accent and all the Aussie expressions made me quite homesick. I get the feeling the HIV/AIDS population in the ‘80s faired much better there than they did here, for which I am eternally grateful.

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Reader from NYC

I can not say what made me choose this particular book, however I can proudly say, I'm glad I did. Tim had me on a emotional roller-coaster. All these emotions I had inside of me, suddenly came to surface. I've always respected the LGBT community, now I have a new deep respect for all of LGBT. The bravery and awareness of everyday issues that isn't mentioned daily and should be. We are all human and we can't help who we love, we can only choose, how.

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  • Andy Sargeant
  • 06-28-16

Powerful and Stunning

I watched the film first (Which I never normally do) and wanted to know more. This book is one of the most amazing, poignant emotional rollercoaster of a book. What an amazing author who was taken far to soon. This book is a MUST read, just remember the tissues.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-13-18

Raw and relevant.

Loved it. Brutally reflecting what might have happened to me. and what did not. Re awakened my fears and encouraged my celebration of life as is now unfolds.

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  • Belfast, Ireland
  • 01-10-18

Must read

Heartbreaking and devastating, I feel like I was a fly on the wall for their entire lives together. A must read ❤️

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  • Davidsmanson
  • 10-09-17

Rollercoaster of emotion

I struggled at first with the narration of this book as there seemed to be a lisp and a lot of whistling at first, but once the story drags you in, you don't notice it as much!
The book itself is amazingly well written and is a rollercoaster of emotion from start to finish, going through joys of relationships, erotica and horrible pain.
It's not easy to pin down what the book is about, be that homosexuality, HIV, puberty, or just relationships with family and friends.
I feel that thee are parts that have different feels, the first is the most amazingly well written story of puberty and discovering ones sexuality. This is a section that I believe any homosexual male will have various stories in common.
The second part is more about being in a steady relationship and te difficulties that can occur, especially within the LGBT communities.
And the last is the most difficult, about HIV and death.
I made the mistake of listening to this book whilst driving, having to resist the tears along motorways. I will now have to buy and read the book as well as I am sure there are lots of section that would reveal themselves to me as time goes by.

I look forward to relistening!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-13-16

Hard hitting and tearful

Gentle at first then harder. The story of living with AIDS and the impact it has in a couple.

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  • William Nauenburg
  • 08-03-17

Just a must read/listen book

I have seen the movie, watched the doco and finally the book it’s is a must !

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  • daniel
  • 09-14-16

horrible reader, great story

loved the storyline but the reader's pronounciation of the "s" letter is ear bleeding! sounds like nails on a whiteboard! i had to lower my volume! e.g "kid(S) get harra(SS)ed at (S)chool" ouch... my eardrums.