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Young Man From the Provinces

Has anyone read this book? Is it good? I'm looking for a good memoir.

by Anonymousreply 1412/04/2012

Yes. Just read it last night. Most of the book is well written & the author reflects upon the many different phases of his life. The author lead an conflicted but interesting life while meeting the who's who of the 50s - 70s. It's thought provoking to read as the author travels though the worlds of European artists, royalty, entertainers, & academics. However, There is no hot sex & the book can drag at certain points while the author struggles to confront his unrelenting depression. But, all in all its a good read.

by Anonymousreply 111/24/2012

I didn't care for it, but I can see the type who would (not in an insulting way).

by Anonymousreply 211/24/2012

It's a very annoying book.

"I was so handsome, I was so perfect, I was so hunky, and everyone wanted me! As Noel Coward and I walked along the beach at St. Tropez, every head was turned, just to look at me, me, me! And then we went back to his luxury hotel room to do drugs and have wild passionate sex with Bunny Mellon and Marlon Brando and Ned Rorem! But still I was profoundly unhappy... why? Why was my perfect golden beauty not enough for me ? Why did my exquisite and privileged life seem like a sham?"

by Anonymousreply 311/24/2012

According to you, what is the best gay novel that has ever been written?

I have two in mind.

'Maurice' by E.M.Forster

'The City and the Pillar' by Gore Vidal

by Anonymousreply 411/24/2012

[quote]And then we went back to his luxury hotel room to do drugs and have wild passionate sex with Bunny Mellon and Marlon Brando and Ned Rorem!

I'm hysterical. LOVE the description R3!

It came up on my "recommended for me" list on Amazon and maybe I'll skip it. I'm running out of titles.

I know there are other threads. But what have you read lately that you'd pass along as a "good read" in this category?

by Anonymousreply 511/24/2012

r3 is right.

I read it because I'm in boston and heard good things through the grapevine from people who know the author (who is/was a local professor).

I kept waiting for the part where he matures and sees past the gay worship of the shallow/fabulous as he grows older. This never happened though. He seems to never stop pining for the days of his perfect youth where everyone wanted him. And now you can relive his perfect youth by reading about the halcyon times when everyone wanted him. Since so few of us get to be A list, he did us a favor but showing us all just how truly fabulous and magical it is. Enough to write a book about.

by Anonymousreply 611/24/2012

If you want to read well-written and intelligent life-writing about gay life pre-Stonewall, I would highly recommend SECRET HISTORIAN by Justin Spring. It's as salacious as the Alan Helms book (though it's true not nearly as many famous names are dropped), but it doesn't make you want to strangle the author for being so unremittingly shallow.

by Anonymousreply 711/24/2012

It's a wonderful book, a nice addition to our history.

by Anonymousreply 811/24/2012

I think it's a lot of fun and well-written. It indeed captures the experience of being a "young man from the provinces" (and the shallowness that entails), but the older reflective, somewhat ironic voice of the more mature professor is implied as he recreates his younger self. I agree with the poster who called it a valuable addition to our history. Another one is "My Queer War," which also brings a pre-Stonewall (sub)culture to life--within the military of WWII.

by Anonymousreply 911/24/2012

Another one here who didn't care for it. It was pretty vapid and unengaging, at least for me.

by Anonymousreply 1011/24/2012

Yes, read it when it first came out. As awful, unedifying and depressing as The Best Little Boy In The World. So if you think THAT'S great, you'll love this one. If you haven't any time for shallow self-lacerating narcissists, then avoid either at all costs. It *is* possible to write similar auotbiograpies and make them great. Michael Wishart's 'High Diver' comes to mind.

by Anonymousreply 1111/24/2012

R11, I agree, though I can't finish High Diver for some reason. I guess I get bored when his life becomes truly ordinary.

by Anonymousreply 1211/24/2012

Has anybody in here have read 'Brokeback Mountain' by Annie Proulx? It deserves to be read or the movie is much more eloquent than it?

by Anonymousreply 1311/25/2012

It's a lovely story and very short. Read it.

by Anonymousreply 1412/04/2012
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